With good intentions this past weekend, we got all the ingredients to make the Summer Tomato Lentils Scott loves, and hoped we’d find our final ingredient, chives, later in the week. But when I knew I wouldn’t have time to go to the market that promised us the chives would be in stock, I came up with a new dish, that incorporates one of our favorite elements from Summer Tomato Lentils: Crispy Shallots.
In total, this recipe takes about an hour to make. Each ingredient is cooked separately and comes together perfectly, so that ultimately, the warm squash and quinoa melt the bit of goat cheese that tops this dish. I wanted this to be a light meal, and could easily be made more hearty by adding more quinoa and squash to each plate. If you didn’t want to add the goat cheese, I think slivered almonds or hazelnuts would be a nice alternative. I meant to add them and forgot. One final note, in cooking the quinoa, I made it with one clove of smashed garlic, which added an entirely new and subtle dimension of flavor.
Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash and Crispy Shallots
Serves 4, with leftovers
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and uncooked
1 1/2 cups water
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, diced into 1 inch pieces
3 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 shallot, sliced thin
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 oz. goat cheese* or 2 tbsp. slivered almonds or hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tsp. of olive oil, 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper (to taste). Toss with hands and make an even layer on the baking sheet. Put in oven for 25 minutes, turning over once with a metal spatula. Set aside when done.
After the squash is in the oven, in a medium saucepan, add 1 cup rinsed quinoa, 1 smashed clove garlic, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover for 20 minutes and lower heat. When done, let sit for 5 minutes covered. With the heat turned off, uncover and fluff with fork. (The quinoa should be the last thing to finish cooking.)
While the quinoa and squash are cooking, heat a small (nonstick) frypan over medium-low heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil. About 30 seconds – 1 minute later, add the shallots and let brown and get crispy for about 15 minutes. You might need to move them around in the pan if they start to get too brown. Set aside when done.
When all ingredients are done, layer the following for each serving, starting at the bottom of the plate or shallow bowl – 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, heaping 1/3 cup roasted butternut squash, a few crispy shallots, crumble about 1/2 oz. goat cheese* or 1/2 tbsp. almonds, and about 1/2 tbsp. parsley. Enjoy!
*One small package of goat cheese is 4 oz. To determine ounces, I cut into 4 equal parts with a knife, in the package. For 2 people, I removed 1/4 and we each got half of that piece crumbled in our plates.