The mornings are getting chilly and pumpkins are hitting the shelves at the local farmer’s market and grocery stores. To my husband, this weather change means that it’s hunting season and football season. To me, however, the leaves falling means one thing: it’s time to start cooking all things squash.
This weekend, we hosted the World’s Cutest Niece and the rest of my in-law family. Husband, naturally, was hard at work on the smoker. Meanwhile, I stayed within my comfort zone: stocking up on decorative gourds and finding ways to force everyone to eat more pumpkin.
For this filling dish, I roasted butternut squash and chickpeas until browned and slightly crispy in a flavorful blend of garlic, olive oil, and curry powder. There is not enough curry to add too much heat to the butternut. Instead, the curry powder just adds a unique and unexpected flavor. I say “unexpected”, because my poor family has to endure about seventy variations on this salad each fall. I’m a predictable girl, what can I say?
I also used red quinoa, creamy chevre, sweet-tart reduced-sugar Craisins, and arugula for a bitter contrast to the mellow squash and chickpeas. For a dressing, I used the flavorful oil from the baking sheet, plus a splash of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. You could make a proper salad dressing, but I don’t think it’s really necessary. The miniature pumpkin decor pictured below, however, is necessary.
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 16 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 cup chevre, room temperature
- 2 cups red quinoa, cooked
- 2/3 cup cranberries (reduced sugar, if available)
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 3-5 cups fresh arugula
- Olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, toss cubed butternut and chickpeas with the olive oil, garlic, curry powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice until evenly mixed.
- Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes, until butternut is browned in places. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about ten minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss together, quinoa, cranberries, green onion, and arugula. Add in butternut and chickpea mixture, including any residual oils.
- Add extra olive oil, if desired, as well as lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.