A couple of months ago I was hired by FreshBox Farms to create recipes for them using produce from their farm. They grow kale, spinach, chard, arugula and other leafy greens with no GMO’s or pesticides on a super clean, hydroponic farm that is only 30 minutes outside Boston. This month I created a recipe that I am in love with, will definitely make again soon, and wanted to share.
Since I focus on fresh, clean and local food as much as possible, I wanted to bring that into this recipe, so I used kale from FreshBox Farms in Millis MA, and butternut squash and onions from Stearns Farm in Framingham MA. I also used cranberries because they are in season in New England right now, but dried cherries would be a good substitute in the off-season.
Quinoa and portobello mushroom caps were the only store-bought ingredients. I asked a woman at my farmers market about buying local mushrooms and she said that they used to have a grower but he has so much commercial business now that he isn’t able to make it to the farmers market anymore. If anyone out there reading this has a suggestion for where to get locally produced quinoa or where to buy locally grown mushrooms, let me know!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and stayed tuned for more featuring FreshBox Farms leafy greens.
Butternut Squash and Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Total time: 65 minutes
Makes 4 entrees*
1 medium sized Butternut Squash
16 oz FreshBox Farms Kale
4 large Portobello Mushroom caps *use small Portobello caps to make appetizer portions
2 small Yellow Onions
1 cup uncooked Quinoa
1 cup dried Cranberries
1 cup chopped Walnuts
4 tbsp Olive oil
4 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Butter
- Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise, place cut side up on a baking sheet. Use a basting brush to coat the cut sides of the squash with melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. When oven is hot, roast squash for 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. When done, pull from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the squash roasts, add the quinoa to a saucepan, cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and the water has evaporated, about 15 minutes. When finished cooking, spoon into a large serving dish and cover to keep warm.
- Small dice the onion. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a medium pan, heat over medium heat. Add the onion when hot, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the dried cranberries to the onion, cook for 2 minutes. When onions are translucent, pull from heat and spoon into the bowl of quinoa, recover.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and add the kale when pan is hot. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 3 minutes or just until the kale has wilted. When done, spoon the kale to a second serving dish, cover to keep warm.
- Wash the portobello caps thoroughly, then place gill-side up on a baking sheet. Use basting brush to coat with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the chopped walnuts in an even layer on the sheet next to the mushrooms. With the oven still at 425 °F, place the baking sheet into the oven. Roast walnuts for 7 or 8 minutes, until they’re slightly darker brown and smell fragrant. When done, scoop the walnuts into the bowl of quinoa, recover. Place the mushrooms back in the oven for another 15 minutes, set aside when done.
- When the squash is still warm but cool enough to handle, scoop out small pieces and add to the quinoa. Toss to thoroughly mix together, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the kale evenly between four plates. Place a mushroom cap in the center of the kale, then scoop the quinoa mixture into each cap. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top of each plate. Enjoy!
Alice Kathryn Richardson is a new media photojournalist and creator of The Clean Food Club. She previously spent two years working on Deserts in the District, a series of short-form documentaries exploring food access and hunger in Washington, DC. She is committed to supporting local and sustainable food businesses by telling their stories with photo and video. Follow her on Twitter @AKR_Pictures.