I’ll admit it – I’ve always been a bit intimidated by large gourds – calabazas, pumpkins, butternuts. I think it’s mostly because of the squash’s size, though reasons extend to its tough outer peel, tangled innards and mess of seeds. And, though I do immensely enjoy a smooth and creamy calabaza or butternut soup, after a long day, sometimes I’m simply too lazy for that extra step of plugging in the immersion blender. Heck, sometimes even too lazy to turn on the stove.
But alas, with a just sharpened knife and new veggie peeler, my fears have been replaced by a newfound adoration – the oven roasted squash. I could imagine roasted calabaza being delicious just on its own, however, I decided to combine the squash with some hearty quinoa to add a bit of heft to the meal. The use of both white and red onions was a vain attempt to bring in some color, but after a long roast, it was mostly the color brown. Finally, the addition of warm spices – like cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg – made the cold wintery evening simply melt away.
Curried Quinoa with Roasted Calabaza and Raisins
Ingredients (serves 4):
- ~0.5 kg or 1 lb of calabaza (butternut or pumpkin also works) squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 white onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 cup (measured uncooked) quinoa
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 heaping tablespoon curry madras
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3-4 tablespoons good olive oil
- salt and pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 200 deg C (~390 deg F). Line a large baking tray with foil. Toss cubed calabaza and sliced onions with spices (curry, cinammon, nutmeg), a few pinches of salt/pepper, and oil; spread onto the baking tray in an even single layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until calabaza just begins to brown. While the squash is roasting, cook quinoa as directed. Additionally, to plump the raisins, place raisins into a small bowl and cover with hot water.
Once everything has finished cooking, in a large serving bowl, combine together the squash, onions, and quinoa. Add the lemon zest. Also drain and add raisins. Salt and pepper to taste.
Breathe in and serve warm….