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Two days ago on our morning walk, Tim and I put on sweatshirts. Yesterday, I pulled out my boots for the first time since May. Today, the window’s open in the bathroom, and even from the next room over, I can smell the fresh air and feel a cool breeze coming in (the high today in Nashville was 72 degrees). What’s more, down the hall and in the kitchen, the oven is on, and I have a pot filled with root vegetables boiling on the stove. Fall is here, officially and obviously, and I’ve been dressing, eating and, what I’m trying to say, I guess, is enjoying this new season, even when it means summer’s gone.
But before we get too deep in changing leaves, could I get one last hurrah for summer? I hate to say it as a lifelong October lover, but sometimes I’m nostalgic for the season that ends (besides winter). And while I was all set to pack away this late summer squash recipe for next year, our Monday CSA pickup brought a few more of the yellow squash we’ve been seeing the last few weeks. So I thought maybe you wouldn’t mind if I slipped this late summer squash quinoa dish in? You could, of course, swap out the yellow squash with a nice winter one, cubed and roasted with oil until it’s caramelized. You could, also, decide to go elsewhere for a recipe featuring pumpkin or apples. I’ll understand.
For now, here’s a quinoa dish we enjoyed before the temperatures dropped and the days shortened. It’s a reminder of the beauty that was, even as we walk forward into the beauty that is and the kind that is to come.
Sweet and Tangy Summer Squash Quinoa
Serves two to three
The truth is, more evenings than not, Tim and I eat a simple dinner of roasted vegetables or salad or quinoa like this. So while for us, this could be an entree; for you, it might make a nice side dish. Either way, it’s as simple as it is a tasty blend of flavors and textures—at once sweet and tangy, soft yet with a crunch.
½ cup slivered almonds, to toast
1 teaspoon coconut oil
½ cup chopped squash (yellow squash, pattypan squash)
1 small onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
1 small green sweet pepper, chopped
¾ cup of quinoa, cooked – salt and pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup raisins
Juice of one lemon
10 basil leaves, chopped
Begin by placing almonds in a pan over medium heat and toast until fragrant and golden. Remove from heat.
In a large skillet, melt a teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat; add chopped squash, diced onion, smashed garlic cloves, chopped jalapeno and chopped green pepper. Cook until soft, adding a few shakes of salt and pepper and stirring as you do.
Combine vegetable hash, toasted almonds and cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add raisins, juice of one lemon and torn or chopped basil leaves. Mix together and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
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