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Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa “Pie”

To me, almost nothing can out-cozy some roasted butternut squash with a bit of cinnamon somewhere in the mix. Especially on a cold day when you’ve got the sniffles (which we both do). In any case, a tender little butternut squash was pretty much all I had to work with on this night-before-market Friday. That, and some festive multicolored quinoa, onions, and the very last of my parsley, arugula, and some good Parmesan. 

The plan: roasted butternut squash on top of quinoa with just a hint of cozy cinnamon and a little arugula salad on the side. Instead of seasoning the squash with cinnamon powder, I dropped a cinnamon stick into the quinoa as it cooked, which turned out really lovely and fragrant. Nick arrived at the top of the hill just as the squash and onions browned and the quinoa swelled. He brought the last stroke of inspiration, adding the egg and Parm and letting it sizzle under the broiler to create this delectable “pie.” 

Active time: 30 mins  Total time: 40 mins

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1” squares

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1 cup quinoa  (multicolored where available)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)

1 cinnamon stick, approx. 3”

3 large eggs

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or other firm,

sharp cheese, such as fontina)

freshly ground pepper to taste 

garnish: balsamic-drizzled orange slices and parsley


Preheat oven to 475* with rack in top third of oven.

Toss cubed butternut squash with 1½ Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Arrange in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Roast until tender and just beginning to brown, 15-20 mins.

Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of water to a boil with remaining teaspoon of salt. Add dry quinoa and cinnamon stick to boiling water and stir. Allow to boil uncovered for 2-3 mins. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10-15 mins. Remove cinammon stick.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet. Add onions and cook on medium heat until they begin to brown.Add roasted squash and quinoa. Toss. Break eggs over mixture and stir until well-distributed.

Bake at 475* for 10-12, until egg appears firm. Switch oven to low broil. Top with Parmesan and fresh-ground pepper. Broil for 3-5 mins, until cheese appears golden brown.

For a fresh side, toss arugula with simple vinagarette (2 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar) and top with more fresh-grated Parmesan and fresh-ground pepper. 

Slice and serve with salad on the side. 

(Oh, and as an aside, I made an immune-boosting vegetable juice that really saved the day: a handful of parsely, 2 cloves of garlic, ¼” of ginger, 4 carrots, and an apple.)

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