Quinoa Stuffed Kabocha Squash

quinoa stuffed kabocha squashYield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 medium kabocha squash, halved and seeds removed
2 teaspoons and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup red quinoa
1 ¼ cups water
½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup dried unsweetened cherries
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Procedure:
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush flesh of squash with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized about 15 to 20 minutes.

2. In a small skillet over low-medium heat, toast pine nuts until deep golden brown. Set aside.

3. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa until water runs clear.

4. In a medium saucepan over low heat, add the rinsed quinoa and dry roast, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and you begin to smell a nutty aroma. Add water.

5. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to low and cover, cooking for 15 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

6. Fluff with a fork and mix in remaining oil, goat cheese, mustard, cherries, parsley and scallion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Divide filling among squash and serve.

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