Thursday, September 25, 2014

Finally Fall(ish)

With the temperatures in the 100's last week I couldn't even think about turning on my oven or even cooking over the stove.  Thankfully we did get a "break" from the heat (it's still going to be 91 degrees today) and I was finally able to roast up the butternut squash sitting on my counter and put my autumn herbs to good use.  

This roasted butternut squash salad should be added to your "I Love Fall," "Falling for Autumn," or "Thanksgiving Recipes" Pinterest board ASAP.   So get pinning!  I promise the warm aromas of cinnamon and allspice creeping out from your oven will be enough for you to crave this dish again and again.  

When creating the dressing for this salad I wanted to go out of the box with something light and herby.  After some trial and error I finally reached in the back of my pantry and pulled out a can of coconut milk and started mixing.  Combined with sage, a little roasted garlic and some chives, I was delighted with the fresh, yet warm flavor it brought to the salad.  Oh, and did I mention that this salad is not only dairy free it's gluten free too!  Bonus for my sensitive belly friends!  

With many more Autumn inspired dishes to come I am praying LA will bring some cooler weather SOON so I can stop sweating and pretending that it's fall with my Bath and Body Works candles burning in my kitchen!

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Coconut Sage Dressing

1 small to medium butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cubed
3 cups red quinoa, cooked and cooled
2 cups Brussels sprouts, finely chopped
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Salt and pepper to taste

Coconut Sage Dressing

3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh sage, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roasted
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Place the sage, chives and roasted garlic in a small blender. Blend until finely chopped.  Add the coconut milk and blend until well combined, 30-40 seconds.  Add the salt and season with pepper to taste.  Pulse to combine.  Place in the refrigerator to marinate the flavors for about 30 minutes.  The dressing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place the butternut squash into a medium mixing bowl.  Add the olive oil, cinnamon, and allspice.  Toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place the seasoned squash on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Turning  the squash about half way through.  Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes.

While the butternut squash is baking combine the quinoa, Brussels sprouts and pomegranate in a large mixing bowl.  Add 3/4 of the coconut sage dressing and toss to combine.  Add the slightly cooled roasted butternut squash and gently toss to combine.  Place the salad into a serving dish and drizzle with the remaining 1/4 of the coconut sage dressing.  Makes about 6-8 servings.

 When creating this recipe I enjoyed Uinta Brewing Company's Punk'n Harvest Pumpkin Ale.  Happy Fall Everyone!