by The Culinistas

Every season has a standout side (looking at you, summer esquites) but fall squashes, roots & hearty cold weather greens are the GOATs. You can have your side & decorate your table with it, too. Our fave Culinista side as the leaves are changing and nights are getting colder is our Crimson Quinoa Salad, abundant with autumn spices, seasonal veg, and the perfect grain to complete the table. 

Crimson Quinoa Salad


– Our dishes are made up of six core ingredients to keep food costs low & recipes simple, but if you have any acids like vinegar or lemon, add to the dish. Orange juice & zest would be especially nice. 

– With any remaining squash, puree with some EVOO & spices for a ‘squash mash’ to go with grilled chicken, or toss extra roasted cubes with romaine lettuce & dress with a dressing of blended chipotle chilies in adobo, oil, lemon & honey. 

– This dish calls from cranberry sauce. If you have homemade, use it! But, even the canned stuff will do here.

Prep Time 15 mins 

Cook Time 35 mins  

Serves 4 to 6

1 small butternut squash, seeded, cubed

¼ cup + 2 TB olive oil, divided

½ tsp allspice, ground

¼ cup red quinoa 

¼ cup cranberry sauce

1 tsp sumac

½ cup cashews, roasted, chopped, plus more for garnish

¼ cup scallions, sliced on a bias, plus more  for garnish

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.

2. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 TB oil, allspice, salt & pepper. Roast until soft, 35-40 mins. 

3. While the squash is roasting, cook the quinoa: In a small saucepan, bring quinoa & ½ cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; season with salt & cover. Cook until tender & all water has been absorbed, 15-20 mins. Set aside to cool.

4. Make the cranberry dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk cranberry sauce & sumac. While whisking, stream in remaining ¼ cup oil. Season with salt & pepper.

5. In a large bowl, mix roasted squash, quinoa, cashews & scallions. Dress to taste.

6. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Garnish with cashews & scallions.

Allspice & Sumac are a chef’s secret weapons. Check out our eComm shop to purchase our favorite brand.