I just saw this recipe on the wonderful Berkshire Style website. Because it sounds like a great Thanksgiving recipe that uses lots of locally available seasonal ingredients, it also reminded me it’s time to ask our readers to share their favorite, tried and true Thanksgiving sides. And this year, we’d like to focus on side dishes that are not only family favorites, but are also unique and/or healthier than the traditional fare of sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows or green beans swimming in condensed mushroom soup and cheese. Not that there’s anything wrong with that 🙂 But it’s always good to have some healthy alternatives. Just email your recipes to email@example.com. As always, if we use it on our website you’ll get a $25 Hammertown Gift Card…JUST IN TIME for the holidays!!!
Berkshire Autumn Quinoa
- 3 cups (total) root vegetables (e.g. turnips, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes) or winter squash (butternut, acorn, etc.), cut into uniform ¼ inch cubes
- 1 cup red quinoa (carefully rinsed)
- 3 tablespoons golden raisins (you can substitute dried currants or dried cranberries)
- 2 tablespoons dried apricots, thinly-sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions or chives
- 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (or your favorite nuts)
- Olive oil, salt & pepper (for roasting)
1. First roast your favorite root vegetables or winter squash. I like to use a combination of butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots and golden beets with a little red onion tossed in for flavor. Toss the cubes with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread out on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast at 450° for about 20-25 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Set aside to cool at room temperature.
2. While the vegetables are roasting, cook 1 cup rinsed red quinoa in 2 cups water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until done then drain. Spread the cooked quinoa on a foil-lined cookie sheet and let cool to room temperature.
3. Soak the golden raisins and sliced dried apricots in hot water for 5 minutes to plump. Drain and set aside.
4. Make the vinaigrette. Combine 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. Add ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Whisk, or shake, to combine well.
5. Put the roasted vegetables in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and plumped raisins and apricots. Sprinkle the vinaigrette evenly over the mixture and stir gently to combine. Just before serving, stir in ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions or chives and 3 tablespoons walnuts. If you’re lucky, you may have some local black walnuts that have just been harvested, but feel free to use almonds, pine nuts or whatever you’d like to add a little crunch.
The combination of red quinoa and roasted vegetables mimics the fall colors of the beautiful sugar maples on display throughout the Berkshires this time of year!