Bowled over by a quinoa creation.
Total time:About 1 hour
Adapted from Fig Restaurant. Red quinoa is available at well-stocked markets.
Salad and assembly:
1/4 pound peeled, seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
Salt and pepper
1/4 pound haricots vert, ends trimmed (about 1 cup)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 pound Swiss chard, ribs removed and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Orange blossom vinaigrette (see recipe below)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup red quinoa
1 (2-inch) rosemary sprig
2 tablespoons Marcona almonds
Toasted sliced almonds
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the squash cubes with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Spread the cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then set the warm squash in a medium bowl.
2. While the squash is roasting, blanch the beans. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the haricots vert and blanch quickly to bring out the color, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain the vegetables, then quickly shock in a bowl of ice water. Remove from the ice bath and set aside.
3. In a medium saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Add the beans, cubed apple and Swiss chard together with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Saute, tossing frequently, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, adding one-fourth cup vinaigrette toward the end to deglaze the pan. Add beans, apple and chard to the squash in the bowl.
4. In a large saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer over high heat. Stir in quinoa and rosemary sprig and gently simmer, covered, just until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, discarding the rosemary.
5. Toss the warm quinoa and Marcona almonds in the bowl with the squash. Dress with additional vinaigrette as desired and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Mound the warm salad on 4 plates, drizzling over additional vinaigrette if desired. Garnish with the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.
Orange blossom vinaigrette:
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup orange blossom honey
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice to a simmer. Reduce the orange juice by one-third to yield two-thirds cup, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and place the reduced orange juice in a medium bowl. Set aside until cool.
2. To the reduced orange juice, whisk in the honey and then the vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes about 2 cups dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the dressing should keep for about 5 days, refrigerated.