Butternut squash, fennel, and radicchio brightens up this hearty batch of wintery quinoa.
By Laura Loesch-Quintin
On a recent grey and rainy afternoon, I perused the produce at my local farmer’s market in search of colorful winter vegetables to brighten up a hearty batch of quinoa. My eyes were immediately drawn to the butternut squash, radicchio, and fennel. Beautiful bursts of bright orange and deep purple would certainly liven up pale, nutty quinoa, as would fennel’s sweet, caramelized aroma. The final result was a healthy and hearty salad brimming with color and flavor. Appropriate for both lunch and dinner, I found myself serving this winter tabouleh of sorts at a dinner party one night and packing it for lunch the next morning. Add crumbled goat’s cheese for a salty kick or experiment with seasonally appropriate vegetables as winter turns into spring; either way, you will have yourself a simple, wholesome meal for one or for many.
- ¾ cup (80 g) quinoa
- 1 medium butternut squash, diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 fennel bulb, diced into 1-inch pieces
- ½ head of radicchio, thinly sliced
- ½ cup (80 g) chickpeas
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Toss the diced butternut squash and fennel lightly with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and tender.
- Meanwhile, bring 1½ cups (355 ml) of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, bring to a simmer, and allow to cook with the lid on for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes with the lid on.
- In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, butternut squash, fennel, radicchio, chickpeas, lemon juice, 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.