Deciding what to do with a rogue butternut squash is one of the more pleasant Grey Season conundrums. Today was Ian’s birthday and I didn’t want to buy a bunch of groceries since we’re doing the big party thing tomorrow, but I didn’t want to make the poor guy eat from my Frozen Soup Hoard on his big day. So I looked around the kitchen and found the aforementioned squash, some kale, and 2 Link Lab jalapeño pork sausage links in the freezer, and came up with the following deliciousness:
3-4 large leaves kale, big veins removed, chopped
1 butternut squash, halved and scooped
2 large links good pork sausage
1/3 cup (dry) red quinoa
1/3 cup veggie broth
Scant 1/4 cup water
1 large shallot
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon stoneground mustard
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder and ground cumin
Wildflower honey (clover’s fine!)
Preheat oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove papery skins from shallot and garlic, toss into blender or Magic Bullet cup. Chop the kale (well rinsed and dried) and throw into a large mixing/serving bowl.
Place halved squash face down onto cookie sheet and bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, toast quinoa for a few minutes, tossing to do so evenly. Add veggie broth, water, and a few shakes of garlic powder and cumin and stir. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Leave covered until water is absorbed, then remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Transfer quinoa to bowl of kale.
Attend to the blender or MB cup of shallot and garlic. Add 1 part sherry vinegar, 1 part lemon juice, and 2 parts olive oil. Add mustard and a short stream of honey, season with salt and pepper. Blend for a good minute. If the shallot and garlic are being chunky stinkers try doing short pulses. Transfer to bowl of kale and quinoa and toss well.
Remove squash from oven and let cool just enough to handle.
Remove casing from sausage. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add a dash of oil if it’s not super seasoned. Plop down the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon. Brown meat and crumble it down as you cook. Once cooked through, set aside.
Remove skin from squash. Sometimes you can hand peel it off but others you may need to use a vegetable peeler. Chop into roughly 1-1.5″ chunks and transfer to the bowl of kale, etc. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Add sausage to the party in the big bowl and toss to combine. Enjoy with your favorite crusty bread!
We paired this with a nice green salad of butter lettuce, arugula, gooey ripe persimmons, toasted hazelnuts and a light hazelnut oil dressing. Didn’t keep the meager leftovers so sadly no picture.
Man, I’m kind of a jerk about how overused kale is right now, but this was superduper good. The sausage really offsets the rest of the health benefits.