Monday, October 26, 2015

Cheesy, Buttery, Baked Acorn Squash & Autumn Quinoa Salad

     Since moving to Germany I have really been inspired by all the local seasonal food I find at the markets.  And with it being Autumn time that means all the pumpkins and squashes are everywhere.  I know acorn squash is pretty popular, so I thought why not give it a try.  I found this amazing recipe on Pinterest, whipped it up, and fell in love.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do...

Acorn Squash Recipe from Bacon, Butter, Cheese & Garlic
Autumn Quinoa Salad recipe from FOOD52

Baked Acorn Squash

What you need:

2 Acorn Squash
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
1 tsp fresh thyme (chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 TBsp unsalted butter (cut into four pieces)
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375˚F or 190˚C.
Cut each squash in half and scrape out the seeds and pulp.
Put the squash cut side up on a sheet pan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Spread some garlic and sprinkle some thyme over each half.
Place a piece of butter into each half and pour a little cream into each half.
Bake for about 40 minutes.  
Halfway into the 40 minutes, dip a pastry brush into the butter and cream mixture and brush that over the cut edges of the squash.
Remove the squash from the oven and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the each squash.
Return to the oven and bake for additional 15 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
Serve it up with some Autumn Quinoa and ENJOY!

Autumn Quinoa Salad

What you need:

1 cup quinoa (rinsed well)
1 1/2 cups water (for quinoa)
1 TBsp olive oil
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
1 cup hazelnuts (toasted, de-skinned, and chopped)
5 or 6 green onions (chopped, green parts only)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (use good quality dried cranberries, Craisins tend to be too sweet)
1 bunch flat leaf parsley (rinsed and chopped)
1 gala apple (chopped)
1 large lemon (juiced)
Generous drizzle of any kind of oil (hazelnut is nice)
Fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 325˚F or 162˚C.
Toast the hazelnuts for about 7-10 minutes.
Let them cool completely.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa.
Boil the water with a pinch of salt, add the rinsed quinoa.
Turn the stove down to medium-low and let it cook roughly 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
Fluff quinoa with a fork, and let it cool in the fridge.
Remove the skins from the cooled toasted hazelnuts.
Chop the hazelnuts, leaving some in large pieces.
Preheat a skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil.
Salute the onion and celery until soften.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Try not to brown the onion and celery, 5 to 7 minutes on medium-low heat.
Set aside in a large salad bowl.
Rinse the parsley well and chop it finely.
Finely chop the dried cranberries and green onions.
All the parsley, cranberries, and green onions into the salad bowl.
Core and dice the apple, add into the salad bowl.
Squeeze the entire lemon over the apple.
Add in the quinoa and hazelnuts to the mixture.
Drizzle with oil.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle more lemon juice if desired.
Mix well and cool completely, set aside for 20 minutes.
Serve it with the Baked Acorn Squash and ENJOY!

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