Red quinoa & winter squash

Have you ever cooked red quinoa? The texture and tastes are quite different from white quinoa, it usually stays slightly crunchy and has a stronger taste.

I’d usually make this recipe with a buttercup squash, but they are actually quite hard to find around here. No, you haven’t misread: a buttercup squash, also called kabocha from its Japanese name, is very different from a butternut squash as it has the same shape as a small pumpkin, only dark green. A good alternative is to use is a Hokkaido squash, also called kuri squash, although it has a milder taste.
‘Kuri’ in Japanese means chestnut, applying to both the color and the fruit; in French, this squash is also linked to chestnuts as it is called ‘potimarron’, a pun between ‘potiron’ (pumpkin) and ‘marron’ (chestnut, color and fruit).

While the buttercup and hokkaido squash originate from South America, they were brought to Japan by Portuguese sailors back in the 16th century, forgotten there, then reimported in the 20th century- thus the Japanese connotation.

With its vibrant colors, this is the ultimate autumn dish!

  • 1.8kg buttercup or hokkaido squash
  • 300g red quinoa
  • 90g dried cranberries
  • 1tbsp cumin
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 130g pecan nuts
  • Preheat the oven to 180°. Wash and cut the squash into quarters.
  • Oil each quarter, place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper and put in the oven for about 30 minutes. Let it cool down.
  • Meanwhile, bring 1.5L of water to the boil, then add the quinoa and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Let it rest off the heat, still covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Cut the squash cubes into small cubes. Add the dried cranberries, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Adjust the seasoning and serve; can be eaten warm or cold.