The best part about Fall in my opinion? The seasonal ingredients that it brings. Juicy Honeycrisp Apples, a plethora of Squash, vibrant Pomegranates and Persimmons and plenty of Chicory to go around.
My hope with this dish was to create something that was comforting and reminiscent of the Fall season, while also remaining health-forward and guilt-free. Per usual, I tried to sneak in some added health benefits where ever I was able. For example, I cooked the Quinoa in Bone Broth- not only is the broth nutritionally rich, it also adds wonderful depth of flavor.
You might be slightly taken back by the fact that I recommend roasting the Squash with the seeds- trust me folks, don't knock it until you try it. In one of my favorite cookbooks, Dining In, the author, Alison Roman, suggests leaving the seeds in. If Alison Roman tells you to do something in the kitchen, you do it. The result is an added element of texture and crunch and you won't be disappointed.
Not only is this Fall-forward dish an ideal candidate for a Thanksgiving side, but it also makes for a superb weeknight meal on a cool and crisp evening.
Warm Sausage and Apple Quinoa Salad with Roasted Delicata and Walnut Salsa
If you're looking for a a more non traditional side to bring to your Thanksgiving table, this is your dish. Additionally, it's hearty enough to stand alone as a weeknight main course.
Start by making the White Bean Garlic Sauce. To a food processor or blender, add in Beans, Garlic, Nutritional Yeast, Sage Leaves Lemon and a couple of tablespoons of water to start. Blend and add water, one tablespoon at a time, until Bean sauce is creamy. If you need to use more than 1/2 cup of water to reach the desired consistency, that's just fine. When finished, set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400F. In a medium bowl, toss Squash slices with Olive Oil and Season with Salt and Pepper. Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper and lay the squash on it in an even layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the Squash starts to brown.
Make the Quinoa. Add 2 cups of Bone Broth to a medium size pot and bring to a boil. Add Quinoa, turn off heat, and cover until Quinoa is cooked and fluffy- 15- 20 minutes.
While the Quinoa cooks, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and ground sausage. Stir occasionally until evenly browned and cooked through- 12-15 minutes.
Stir in Apple pieces and cook until the Apple begins to slightly soften and brown- 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the cooked Quinoa.
In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients for the Walnut Salsa and season with salt and pepper.
When the Squash is finished in the oven, we're ready to assemble. On a large platter or serving bowl, drizzle 1/2 cup of Bean Sauce, add the warm Quinoa Salad on top, then another 1/2 cup (or more, use your discretion) of Bean Sauce, layer the Squash on top and then finish it off with the Walnut Salsa.
DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, & Haley do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner.
I'm an Ohio Native and resided in the Buckeye State for the first 27 years of my life. In June of 2017, my boyfriend, Mike, and I moved to beautiful downtown St. Petersburg (job relocation for him- I didn't take much convincing) and we have reveled in every incredible moment of our journey here. I have a genuine passion for cooking and a love affair with food- I'm deeply infatuated with the art, experimentation and theatrics of it all. On weekends (and when I'm not in the kitchen), Mike and I try to cross a restaurant, brewery, cocktail bar, and local event (or two) off of our ever-growing list of places to experience in our fabulous city.