Sweet butternut squash and crunchy red quinoa make surprisingly good panfellows – as the quinoa cooks, the squash steams, and releases its soft edges into the grain, like it does in risotto. Spiked with the bright flavors of grape tomatoes and feta cheese, the salad makes for an easy, nutritious lunch. - jessthompson —jessthomson
Test Kitchen Notes
What’s not to adore about a salad that’s colorful, full of flavor, vitamins and protein, tastes delicious, and takes about 20 minutes to prepare? The most arduous task here is peeling and cutting the squash. I could easily see substituting for it some sugar snap peas or asparagus in the spring, or grilled zucchini and/or eggplant in the summer. A few recommendations: wash the quinoa thoroughly to get rid of any bitterness, and use the best feta you can find, as it plays a starring role in this. What a terrific, versatile dish!! ;o) - AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames
Combine the quinoa, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low, stir in squash, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has popped and the squash is soft. (You may need to add another tablespoon or two of water, depending on how juicy your squash is.)
Remove from heat and fold in the olive oil, tomatoes, feta, and basil. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper.