Roast Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Sage and Walnuts

Butternut Squash was made to be paired with sage

A Match Made In Heaven

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of butternut squash, and pairing it with sage is peak butternut enjoyment. The great thing about this dish is that it can be enjoyed both warm and cold, meaning that leftovers for lunch are as quick as can be! This dish makes a regular appearance in my rotation of meals during the colder months; a meal on its own, or served as a side.

I discovered the joy of fried walnuts a few months ago, and this has been an absolute game changer to my cooking. They are particularly tasty in vegan pasta dishes, which might have to be one of my next recipes to share with you all!


Yield: 4 servings

400g butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1 inch thick slices
4 sage leaves, chopped or ½ tsp dried sage
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp chilli flakes or 1 small fresh chilli, minced
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper

10 large leaves of cavalo nero, woody stems removed then roughly chopped (about 80g total)
30g walnut halves, chopped roughly

180g dry quinoa, rinsed well
375ml water
1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot, peeled and minced
Juice of 1 lemon, or 60ml
¼ tsp sea salt
120ml olive or hemp seed oil

Preparation (about 10 minutes prep, roughly 40 minutes total including roasting time)

1. Preheat oven to 200C

2. Peel the squash, remove the top and bottom where the stems are, cut it in half vertically then scoop out the seeds. Slice into 1 inch thick sections, using mostly pieces from the seed end to have nice half circles. Toss in olive oil, sage, chilli, salt and pepper. Roast in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes or until soft and beginning to caramelise. Turn the pan halfway through the roasting time to ensure even heat distribution.

3. Cook the quinoa in a small pot with a tight fitting lid; bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Place the lid on top and simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, leaving the lid on, and let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Set aside.

4. To make the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients in a bowl except the oil. Slowly add the oil while whisking vigourously to emulsify.

5. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a skillet and sautee the walnuts until dark and fragrant. Add the kale, continuing to cook for 2 minutes, until soft and dark green.

6. Add the kale and walnuts to the cooked quinoa, and toss with vinaigrette – you probably won’t need all of the vinaigrette but can have what’s left on the side so that more can be added to taste. Top with roasted butternut squash.