During my recent trip to Paris, there was much more home cooking than there were outings to restaurants. I did visit my favorite salon de thé, Les Deux Abeilles, where they have the most incredible array of freshly baked goods, but for the most part, I took comfort in many a home cooked meal.
There was a creamy carbonara, shared among friends. A succulent veal, carrot, and potato stew eaten in the company of my grandfather and his sister. And, there was this winter tabouleh of sorts, a mixture of quinoa, butternut squash, fennel, and radicchio, which came together one grey and rainy afternoon while cooking with my dearest friend.
In search of colorful ingredients to add to a hearty quinoa salad, my eyes were immediately drawn to the butternut squash and the radicchio at the vegetable stand. Beautiful bursts of bright orange and deep purple would certainly liven up our quinoa. And, because there is nothing quite like the taste of sweet, caramelized fennel, I decided to add that into my winter salad as well.
The final result was indeed a healthy and hearty salad bursting with color. And, it was so well received among our friends that they ate every last bite.
So, whether you are looking for a wholesome salad to put on the dinner table, or if you like to bring a homemade, nutrient-packed lunch to work, this quinoa salad with butternut squash, fennel, and radicchio will certainly do the trick.
Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Fennel, and Radicchio
3/4 cup quinoa
1 medium butternut squash, diced into 1-inch pieces
1 fennel bulb, diced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 head of radicchio, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Toss the diced butternut squash and fennel lightly with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and tender.
Meanwhile, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, bring to a simmer, and allow to cook with the lid on for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes with the lid on.
In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, butternut squash, fennel, radicchio, chickpeas, lemon juice, 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.