Friday, April 1, 2011

butternut squash gratin and toasted sicilian quinoa

we've got loads of butternut squash from autumn that still needs to be used up.  so when i stumbled upon this recipe, after some initial ingredient make-over, it was a perfect fit. here goes.

butternut squash gratin

-1 squash about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs.  peel, scoop out the seeds, 
and slice quarter inch half moon pieces. 
-1 tbs unsalted butter, cut up into small pieces.
-1/2 c chicken stock
-1/2 c parmesan cheese
-1/2 c bread crumbs
-1 tbs olive oil
-1 tsp red pepper flakes
-1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
-1 tsp thyme, chopped

in a greased, shallow 2 qrt pan layer the squash on top of each other. toss some salt on each layer. pour the stock over the squash and place the butter pieces evenly over the squash.  cover with tinfoil and bake at 400 for 35 minutes, or until squash is soft. 
meanwhile, in a bowl mix the cheese, oil, spices, a dash of salt and bread crumbs.  add some hot sauce if you want to spice it up a little. 
when the squash is ready, spread the cheesy breadcrumb mixture evenly over it. bake for another 12 or 15 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. 

while the gratin was cooking i made some toasted quinoa. the quinoa tastes more nutty and less bitter this way.
sicilian toasted quinoa 

-1 c quinoa
-2 tsp olive oil
-2 c water
-2 or 3 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 tbs balsamic
-handful of dried tomatoes, to taste
-small onion chopped
-bunch of kale or char (optional)
-handful of raisins and sesame seeds (optional)

drain the quinoa, grease  a skillet with the oil and toast the quinoa at med heat until golden (~15 minutes) tossing frequently. add the water, garlic and onions, let boil. after a few minutes add the dried tomatoes and leafy greens. 7-10 minutes later the quinoa should be cooked. a minute before it's finished add the balsamic and stir.  top with sesame seeds and raisins if you like. 

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