Quinoa With Arugula, Butternut Squash and Citrus Vinaigrette (Pareve, Passover)

Quinoa Butternut Squash Arugula Salad
© 2013 Miri Rotkovitz
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ratings (10)

I originally developed this Quinoa, Arugula, & Butternut Squash Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette as a festive vegetarian dish to serve at the Passover Seder. But it's so versatile -- and delicious -- that it has become a year round favorite for everything from Shabbat and holidays to casual get togethers and barbecues. It's also an ideal addition to Rosh Hashana menus -- the squash, pomegranate, and honey are all symbolic foods for a sweet new year

Serve it as a vegetarian main dish salad, or as a side dish for meat, poultry, or fish. Pomegranate arils (seeds) make a beautiful addition, but if you can't find them, orange sections, sliced fresh peaches, or avocado would be great, too.

Tip: Some Ashkenazim consider cumin kitniyot, so if you're making this for Passover, it's fine to omit the spice. If you do use cumin, the Pereg brand offers good quality and is certified kosher for Passover. Regarding quinoa for Passover, the Setton, La Bonne, Natural Earth Products, and Pereg brands will carry OU-P certification for Pesach 2017; Per the Star-K, while reliable Passover certification is required for most brands, the Ancient Harvest brand is fine with a regular Star-K symbol and a “Best By” date of 2/01/19 through 2/28/19

What You'll Need

  • For the Salad:
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2" cubes, about 3-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
  • 2 cups water (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 cups baby arugula (rinsed and spun dry)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 large clove garlic (peeled, smashed, and finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher or sea salt)

How to Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place the butternut squash cubes in a large roasting pan or baking dish and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread the squash cubes into a single layer. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender and beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. While the squash is roasting, make the quinoa: Warm 1 tsp of olive oil in a heavy medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.

Add the quinoa, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula until toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the water or stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. (When the quinoa is done, the grains will appear translucent, except for a whitish ring around the middle of each.)

3. Remove the quinoa from the heat, fluff with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl. Add the roasted squash and arugula, and toss together. (Don't worry if the heat from the quinoa wilts the arugula.)

4. In a small bowl or pitcher, whisk together the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, cumin, and salt. Pour over the quinoa salad and toss well to coat. Garnish the salad with the pomegranate seeds (if using). Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Enjoy!