Quinoa is one of our favorite ingredients around here. It is just so versatile- delicious hot or cold, on its own or combined with a bunch of other yummy stuff. In this case, we went the cold route, and threw it in with some of our favorite fall ingredients.
We have eaten a lot of roasted butternut squash this season, and for good reason. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and full of mild squashy flavor, butternut squash makes a great addition to pretty much anything. Including this salad.
Paired with tart and chewy dried cherries, salty and crunchy walnuts, and creamy feta, this salad is a perfect combination of flavors. The dressing couldn't be any simpler- sage cooked in a little olive oil, combined with vinegar, honey, and a little cinnamon. And get this- this salad is just as good (if not better) the next day for lunch!
Quinoa and Mixed Green Salad with Dried Cherries and Butternut Squash
Ingredients for salad
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, and cubed (about 2 cups)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 big handfuls of mixed greens
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
Ingredients for dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- a few leaves of fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon honey
- salt and pepper
- juice of half a lemon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook quinoa- rinse 1/2 cup quinoa under cold water, then transfer to a small pot and toast the quinoa for a few minutes over medium heat. Add just over 1 cup of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes with the lid on. Turn off heat and let sit (covered) for 15 more minutes. Set quinoa aside until ready to use.
Meanwhile, toss butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through.
In a small saucepan, gently heat olive oil. Add the sage and stir until fragrant about 30 seconds. Turn off heat and add apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, honey, salt and pepper.
Assemble all salad ingredients together and toss with as much dressing as you like. Squeeze the lemon over the salad and toss to combine.
adapted from love and lemons