Now comes the time of year when the squash situation starts to get out of hand. Maybe you get one or two squashes from your CSA pickup, but then maybe you don't cook them right away, and soon you're getting two or three more the following week, and before you know it your Husband is threatening to drop-kick them all out the back door. And he'll do it, too.
Here's a surprisingly good way to segue from summer into fall and make a dent in your squash pile: baked delicata squash stuffed with a cool, vinaigrette-spiked salad of quinoa, apples, arugula, and herbs. Delicata may be my favorite type of squash for its sweet, delicate flavor and pretty, edible skin. The hollowed-out halves make a great serving vessel, and its sweetness pairs well with the nuttiness of the quinoa as well as the peppery arugula and tart apples. Refreshing yet comforting as summer turns to fall.
Delicata Squash with Quinoa Salad
Don't cut off the ends of the squash like I did in my picture. It's much prettier to keep them intact, plus the salad will be better contained.
2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 Tbsp. golden raisins
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tart green apple (like Granny Smith, Rhode Island Greening, Roxbury Russet, or Northern Spy), finely diced
1 large shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped mint
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 cup arugula (about 1 oz.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush cut sides of squash with a little olive oil (reserve the rest), and season with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a smallish saucepan, bring 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and simmer 10 minutes (or use a rice cooker). Stir in the raisins and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer quinoa to bowl and let cool.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and honey with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the quinoa along with the apple, shallot, garlic, mint, and parsley. Toss well. Add the arugula right before serving and toss gently. Generously fill squash halves with quinoa salad and serve.
Squash, arugula, shallots: Waltham Fields Community Farm, Waltham, MA
Apple: Autumn Hills Orchard, Groton, MA
Quinoa: Baer's Best, Hamilton, MA (via Russo's)
Honey: Reseska Apiaries, Holliston, MA
Mint: My backyard