Figs and Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
Figs season is coming to an end and what better time to try cooking with these tasty treats for the first time! You may have seen them in salads, desserts, and gourmet pizzas; these fruits are beautiful even on their own drizzled with honey or topped with a soft cheese like Gorgonzola (my family makes a very delicious version!). Due to their sweet taste, figs pair well with savory and salty foods, think cheese or Italian meats (if vegan, try it with tahini or miso).
As figs are almost out of season, I ended up coming home with a 2lbs container and made many uses out of this gorgeous crop! To start, I threw in the overripe ones in my breakfast smoothies that added an excellent source of fiber, B vitamins, and potassium. Another meal, I topped off these beauties on a pizza for a sweet and savory version with scallions, goat cheese, and corn. Lastly, I created a quinoa salad for the start of the fall season using roasted butternut squash, the figs, and a tahini-honey dressing (also my first time using tahini!). This is the dish I am most excited about and going to share with you today.
When I finished making this dish, I realized it could either be served hot or cold; if you decide to have it cold (which I will try next time) I recommend keeping all of the ingredients except the roasted butternut squash in the raw form, and replacing the white onion with a red onion for better flavor.
As figs are seen in many meat dishes for their sweet and salty complements, I decided to use tahini and mushrooms for the umami taste. I think the next time I make this dish, I will either use goat cheese or the tahini dressing since both competed with each other I learned.
To save yourself some time during this recipe, make the quinoa when you have 10-15 minutes left of the butternut squash roasting and prep the vegetables during the roasting. We all love having even minutes of free time, right?
Fall is here and what better way to celebrate with butternut squash and appetizing figs! Hope you enjoy!
- 1/2 Butternut squash, peeled, cubed
- 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium white onion, peeled, chopped
- 1-2 cups bella mushrooms, chopped (or any mushroom of your choice)
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 2 cups figs, quartered
- 1 tablespoon dried Thyme
- 2oz Goat cheese, optional
- 3 tablespoons Tahini
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- *add water to thin sauce if you find necessary, or add more tahini or olive oil per taste preference
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and begin roasting the squash on a nonstick or greased baking sheet, 30-40 minutes, or until browning.
- While the squash cooks, prep the vegetables then make the tahini dressing by whisking everything together, adjust the ingredients by taste.
- Cook the quinoa with 10-15 minutes remaining (usually 1 cup uncooked quinoa for 2 cups water on a low simmer).
- While the quinoa and squash are cooking, heat a saute pan or skillet with olive oil on medium high. Add in the mushroom, onions, and thyme cook about 3-5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Then throw in the figs and cook 1-2 minutes to soften. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss in the quinoa, squash, fig mixture, and scallions. Slowly add in the tahini sauce. Add in the goat cheese (optional). Enjoy!