Roasted Squash with Brown Butter and Toasted Quinoa.
Who knew we could make our vegetables so delicious!
We can, we can, we can! Let’s discuss.
A few years ago I made a spicy squash with feta and herbs that is seriously one of my favorite fall side dishes ever. It is DELISH. It’s so flavorful and super simple.
But since I make it constantly, I wanted something else similar that I could make and pair with a few other dishes. Maybe minus the feta, maybe something with a little more texture.
Enter… crispy toasted quinoa! I loooove toasted quinoa. Last year I made these toasted quinoa cashew butter cups and the crunch is so satisfying and perfect. Like little pops of love. I also put it in these autumn rice krispie treats. Must make this weekend. Reminder to self.
I wanted that exact crunch on top of brown butter roasted squash. And maybe with a hint of brightness from the pomegranate arils. And that’s exactly what I got.
The squash is sweet and slightly caramely. Yes yes yes I leave the peel on my squash when I roast it most of the time. It’s chewy and incredible when roasted. You can absolutely peel it if you’d like. And if you have leave it on and happen to have a tough piece, just discard it!
The brown butter is wonderful, as usual. I mean, it’s brown butter! Buttery and caramely and nutty. I just want to drink it. I drizzle it on top as a finishing flavor so it doesn’t burn or lose the flavor in the oven when roasting. This is my second recipe with brown butter this week and you know what? I wish it was my fourth. What DOESN’T work with brown butter? Nothing. That’s what.
Next goes on the crunchy quinoa sprinkle! You can add as much or as little as you’d like. Heck, if you’d like to switch this entire recipe around and cook the quinoa fully and serve this on a bed of cooked quinoa or toss everything together like a quinoa salad, BE MY GUEST.
(sidebar: OMG speaking of I finally got to watch Beauty and Beast because I didn’t see it when it was in theaters and I looooooove it.)
Also added a little rosemary because let’s just say that this last month, I’ve had quite the rosemary problem. For not even loving it a few years ago, I am almost full-on obsessed with it right now.
And finally, the (also crunchy) pop of pomegranate gives some juicy tartness with a slightly sweet bite.
I could actually eat this entire plate for dinner without anything else! I mean, how many times can I get away with saying “so much flavor?!?” Doesn’t that sound like perfection?!
- 1 buttercup/kabocha squash sliced and seeds removed
- 2 delicata squash sliced and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup dry uncooked quinoa
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate arils
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (or 2!) with parchment paper.
Place the squash on the sheet(s) so they are not overlapping. Drizzle with olive oil. As a note, I like to keep the peel on both of these squash because they are so chewy and delicious when roasted! Sprinkle the squash with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden and caramely.
While the squash is roasting, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Leave a bit of the water in with the quinoa and place the quinoa in a skillet. Heat it over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring and tossing often, until the quinoa becomes fragrant and pops – and also turns golden if you’re using white quinoa – it will take about 5 to 6 minutes.
Place the butter in another skillet over medium-low heat. Once melted, whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom - about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat immediately and pour it into a bowl so it doesn't burn.
As soon as the squash is finished roasting, drizzle it with the brown butter to serve. Top with the fresh rosemary, the pomegranate arils and cover in the toasted, crunchy quinoa. Serve!
Don’t even want to say it but it almost tastes like dessert.