A fall grain bowl filled with roasted squash, juicy figs and crispy chickpeas.
Roasted butternut squash and figs:
- 1 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-in cubes (about 6-7 cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup figs, quartered
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups grain of your choice (I did a mix of quinoa and farro)
- 3 cups water or chicken/vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Combine butternut squash with olive oil, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and salt. Spread on a parchment line baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven, toss butternut squash and move to one side of pan. Add figs to pan and drizzle with a little more oil.
- Roast squash and figs for an additional 15 minutes, until squash is browned and slightly crisp on the edges and figs are juicy and just starting to caramelize.
- While squash and figs cook, make grains: Combine quinoa and farro (or whatever you are using) with water or stick and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and cover pot. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, garlic and salt and whisk or shake to emulsify.
- When grains are fully cooked, pour in vinaigrette (I like to reserve about 1/4 cup) and mix to combine. Cover pot and let grains sit to absorb all those flavors while you get everything else ready.
- Add chickpeas to a large (cold) frying pan. Add in oil and garlic cloves and set heat to medium. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, until chickpeas are crisp. They might pop and splatter so be careful! Adjust heat as needed, but I find that medium to medium-high works perfectly.
- Once chickpeas are cooked, remove from heat and add lemon zest and salt. Toss to combine.
- Combine grains, roasted butternut squash, figs and crispy chickpeas and mix well to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I love mixing my grains for bowls like this. I like quinoa and farro here because I can cook them together in one pot since they take about the same amount of time. If you have grains that have wildly different cooking times, feel free to cook separately and combine later.
Feel free to add greens like finely shredded kale, arugula or baby spinach if you want.
I kept this vegan, but goat cheese is also an amazing addition. Feta is great too!
If this doesn't scream FALL, I really don't know what does. It's still not really weather appropriate here in Texas, but since I'd eat this any time of the year I decided I really don't care.
Like the apple blondies last week, we're doing it!
Hopefully I didn't lose anybody at the top when they saw the long list of ingredients. I promise this isn't hard to do and the flavors are SO GOOD. Literally every part of this is worth it: roasting the butternut squash, cooking the grains, the vinaigrette, making crispy chickpeas. Do it all!
And the figs! THE FIGS! I roasted some up with the butternut squash, and then added a few fresh on top as well because I can't be stopped. The sweetness they bring to this dish is so incredible, but if figs really aren't your thing you can leave them out. Try adding raisins or dried cranberries if you want to find a replacement for that little bit of sweet the figs are adding.
I often get asked for more meal prep ideas, so I'm here today to tell you YOU'RE WELCOME. This is a meal prep dream as you can make this on Sunday and enjoy it allll week long. It truly gets better as it sits and the flavors all marry, so it's not something you're bound to get totally sick of by Tuesday.
This whole dish is quite filling to me, but you can also serve it as a side to some chicken or sausage if you want.
Hope you give this one a try!