My husband is frequently amused by the different pizza combinations I come up with, which are often inspired by other bloggers. Last weekend I finally got around to making Maria’s Sweet Potato Kale Pizza with Rosemary and Red Onion, and it was so full of gorgeous, seasonal flavors. The same evening, my husband made his standard (gluten-full) cheese pizza but he was intrigued by the kale on my pizza and so added some to his own. Maybe there is a possibility of his pizza tastes becoming more sophisticated? (Yeah, right.)
And so, that pizza sent my mind wandering around, thinking of the other possibilities for the flavors I had just enjoyed together. Somehow my mind landed on quinoa. And so did Maria. I laughed when I saw her Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Kale pop up one morning last week. I was like, dang, she beat me to it! But at the same time, it wasn’t quite what I had running through my mind. And so, I introduce you to…
Quinoa with Balsamic Butternut and Kale Saute
An original by Renee, inspired by those listed above
1 butternut squash (2-3#), seeded, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp oil
3 cups kale, de-ribbed, torn into small pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried rosemary leaves, crushed (or sage)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet(s) with foil. Toss chopped squash in olive oil to lightly coat. Roast squash until tender, 30 minutes or so, depending on the sizes of squash pieces. Be sure to stir the squash at least once, halfway through. And give the squash plenty of room to “breathe” on the roasting pan so that they are crisp rather than soggy.
Cook quinoa in water according to your favored method (I prefer to use my rice cooker these days).
Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
Once the quinoa is cooked, in a large skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil until it begins to soften. Stir in the kale and allow to soften slightly. Next, stir in the roasted squash and allow to heat through slightly, especially if it had cooled down significantly (I had roasted mine the day before). Pour in half of the vinaigrette and stir to coat the vegetables. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the cooked quinoa and salt. Heat through if quinoa had cooled down significantly. Taste. Add more vinaigrette or salt as desired. Serve warm.
We had some goat cheese that needed to be eaten, so I crumbled some up and sprinkled on top as well, after the photo – a very nice addition.
I also thought that adding a can of drained and rinsed white beans might be nice and add a big protein boost (although quinoa is already high in protein).
I saved the extra vinaigrette in a small glass jar to pour over the leftovers. Quinoa has a tendency to suck up some of the flavor and make it disappear after some time in the frig.