Grain salads strike a great balance between hearty and healthy — they’re just the thing for a fall meal! Today’s recipe uses buckwheat, which has a beautiful earthy flavor that balances well with the roasted flavor of Garlic Gold®. You can find roasted buckwheat groats in the bulk food aisle of any health food store, or in the Eastern European section of your grocery store’s international foods aisle. They cook up in just twenty minutes, and are as easy to make as a pot of rice. Of course, you can substitute quinoa, barley, brown rice, or any of your favorite grains.
This salad includes some wonderful autumn flavors. Cubes of butternut squash are roasted with Garlic Gold® Oil, and a handful of chopped cranberries adds sweetness and a great chewy texture. Baby spinach lightens up the mix, and everything is coated in our Balsamic Vinaigrette. Make this for lunch or dinner, whenever you want a healthy salad or side dish.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Cut off the neck of the butternut squash, and cut the base of the squash in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then use a vegetable peeler to carefully remove the skin from the squash. Slice the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the cubed squash with Garlic Gold® Oil, salt, and pepper. Stir until evenly combined, then spread out the squash in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until the pieces are cooked through and golden brown. Wash the bowl and set aside — you’ll use it later.
- While the squash is roasting, cook the buckwheat: Measure the buckwheat and water into a medium (2 to 3-quart) saucepan, then bring it up to a simmer over medium heat. Turn down to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for another 10 minutes.
- Combine the cooked squash, cranberries, and spinach in the large mixing bowl. Add in the warm buckwheat, then pour Garlic Gold® Balsamic Vinaigrette over the top. Gently fold everything together with a large spoon or spatula until all of the ingredients are evenly mixed.