While the calendar says that it’s Spring, it certainly doesn’t feel like it yet in Connecticut. Everyone seems to be upset about the cold weather lingering, but I know that when it’s gone, I’ll start to miss the little things about winter that make it so special… like warm cable knit sweaters and soft cozy scarves 😉 . I find myself going full-on winter right before it starts to get warm again because I know I won’t be seeing some of these things for quite a while. This is especially true for the food. Winter a time for hearty soups, roasted vegetables, warm spices, and so much more. I find myself wanting that “warm you from the inside out” style of cuisine to stay in season just a little bit longer. So, tonight I wanted to make somewhat of a last goodbye to everything winter; a meal that would make you want to curl up by the fireplace with a blanket and a good book before its too late and Spring arrives.
Acorn squash is one of those perfect vegetables that you can just throw in the oven, forget about for a while, and it gets delicious on its own! Paired with the slightly sweet, nutty quinoa, and the tangy bold balsamic drizzle, this dish absolutely represents the warmth of winter comfort foods while still being healthy and nutritious!
To make the squash: I used one small acorn squash for this recipe, which was enough for me to have as dinner with leftovers for lunch tomorrow!
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Cut off and discard the ends of the squash, and then cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the squash into about 3/4 inch pieces.
- Toss the squash with a drizzle of EVOO , a few splashes of balsamic vinegar, thyme, and rosemary, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the squash is cooked through and tender.
To make the quinoa:
- Wash and add 1/2 cup quinoa to 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then cover and lower the heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
- Mix in 1/3 cup of raisins, 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts, and a good sprinkle of cinnamon to the hot quinoa.
To make a balsamic reduction: Simmer balsamic vinegar in a saucepan until it cooks down to your desired thickness (for this recipe I was impatient, so its not that thick 🙂 )
Arrange slices of roasted squash on the plate and top with a healthy scoop of the quinoa mix. Dust the top with more cinnamon and drizzle the whole dish with your balsamic reduction. And there you have it! My don’t forget about winter, ode to the cozy season meal. Hope you enjoy it!