Thursday, March 7, 2013

Layered Salad: Squash, Quinoa, Candied Nuts, Feta & Balsamic Reduction. Oh My!

I picked up a butternut squash at the market, because I planned on spending sometime in the 
kitchen today, making baby food.  Well, that plan fell by the wayside, as it was ridiculously
 lovely outside, and I opted instead to spend that time playing outside with my little Logan.

The butternut squash was just screaming to be gobbled up today, 
so I  raided the  pantry and found some other goodies that I thought would be
 ridiculous, with the squash, on a bed of greens.

Clean out the butternut squash, remove the skin, and cut up in 1/2
 inch chunks.  Toss the chunks with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sea 
salt and pepper on a baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes in a 
400 degree oven. 

In a pan heat 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to boil and reduce to simmer,
until the vinegar thickens into a syrup that coats a spoon.  It will
continue to thicken up a bit, after simmering. 

 In a dry saute pan, over medium heat, combined 1/2 cup chopped raw 
pecans, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, pinch of cayenne pepper.  
Watch like a hawk, the nuts and sugar can burn in an instant.  
Use a spoon to coat the nuts in the lightly spiced sugar.

Pile spinach and other baby greens on a platter.

Top the greens with quinoa. I had prepared quinoa in the refrigerator, 
from the night before. I cooked it according to directions and tossed 
with a bit of sea salt and olive oil.

Top with chunks of feta or goat cheese.

 Top with the sweet and spicy pecans.

Top with the roasted butternut squash.  Pour any olive oil from the 
pan on the salad as well.  I like to think of it as a deconstructed vinaigrette,
as the oil and vinegar marry together on the greens and goodies!


 Drizzle with the syrupy balsamic vinegar.


Here's me thinking this will be delicious, the greens wilt a bit.

1 comment:

  1. Cannot wait to make this, sounds beyond delicious and like something I would spend way to much ordering at a fancy restaurant! You are so inspiring!