Sometimes I just crave something healthy and simple. There is something so comforting about butternut squash to me. It doesn’t have any childhood meaning because I didn’t even know there were other squash besides the yellow squash in my Nannie’s squash casserole. No, I wasn’t even introduced to zucchini until around 10 years ago. Butternut and other fun winter squash and I didn’t get to know each other until around 6-7 years ago. Such a shame.
I’m pretty happy we met, though, because I now associate fall and winter with this and other winter squash. Whether it’s in a soup, roasted till carmel-y brown, or stuffed with something delicious butternut squash is one of my favorite squash now.
This recipe is time-consuming but very simple. The time-consuming part can be done ahead of time, which is roasting the halves of squash the first time. You could do this part days in advance then throw the rest together the night of the dinner.
This is a delicious light vegetarian dinner or a healthy lunch option that will re-heat well at the office. The gorgonzola can not be replaced! It really adds so much flavor to the squash and quinoa so try not to replace it or *gasp* skip it. The recipe is for 4 people but I could totally see us sitting down to a whole half depending on the size of the squash, so use your judgement there.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium shallots
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup gorgonzola cheese, plus extra for topping
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 400˚.
- Slice butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place each half cut side down in a 9×13 pan and pour ½” of water in the bottom. Place in oven and bake until tender, about 45-60 minutes. Once done, remove and set aside.
- Rinse quinoa and set aside. In a medium pan heat olive oil over medium low heat. Dice shallots, add to oil, and saute until shallots are fragrant. Stir in quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer at let cook until water is absorbed, 12-15 minutes.
- While quinoa cooks, scoop out butternut squash, leaving a ¼”-1/2″ on the sides and bottom. Drain water from pan and return butternut squash to the pan, cut side up.
- Mash butternut squash and stir in gorgonzola cheese. Once quinoa is done, add it to the butternut squash. Taste and add salt if need be.
- Scoop filling evenly into butternut squash halves. Sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese and return to oven. Let bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and the tops begin to brown. Remove from oven, cut each half in half, and serve.