I often think of people as a loose set of free floating particles - bear with me for a second. We each have our own properties that differentiate us from other particles, but unless we focus our energy towards a something, it is impossible to become grounded. Finding that focus is hard: you might be the kind of particle that loves a million things, or the kind of particle that doesn't know what they love, so you keep floating. But, once you find your focus, it becomes easier to come closer to other like-minded particles. Like magnets, one day you just come crashing into each other.
Last Fall, right after the election, I met a wonderful pack of women, who like me, love food. Alison, an Instagram friend I finally got to meet IRL at the Salad Party, introduced me to these lovely ladies that gloomy November night, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their support.
Today, I want to introduce Nancy’s gomasio. When we met, she told me what she did for a living, and I was immediately drawn into her. She had such a passion for her product, unlike any I have seen in a while. Sure, I had heard about gomasio but, I didn’t think it would become my new obsession. I should have known better- sesame seeds are the main ingredient.
So, what the heck is gomasio? In a nutshell – a mix of toasted sesame seeds and salt. Gomasio is a traditional Japanese seasoning similar to furikake. Nancy’s though, is different. She mixes in red chili flakes, fennel seeds, and even dried seaweed making each one of her four gomasio flavors unique and addictive. I loved it at first taste, and because I believe you will to, we are doing a giveaway of her products this week!
The recipe I am sharing with you today, incorporates gomasio into each component of the dish, making it the feature ingredient. Set against sweet kabocha squash, tart quinoa, and zippy cilantro, the gomasio stands out as nutty and robust. A little sprinkle acts like fairy dust– ethereal and powerful, delicate and deliberate. This recipe is simultaneously flavorful and humble. Quinoa and squash play off each other’s flavors making it an exciting warm grain salad to eat.
And for the GIVEAWAY:
If you want to win a trio of Nancy’s favorite flavors and a copy of my newly release cookbook Coseena: A how-to guidebook for winning at dinner, head over to Instagram and show us what you would sprinkle gomasio on. Make sure to follow and tag both of us (@tastyplan & @urbankitchenapothecary), and we will pick a random winner at the end of the week. Gomasio on!
Quinoa Salad with Gomasio Roasted Kabocha Squash
Preheat oven to 400
1 small pot with lid
1 baking sheet
- ½ cup quinoa
- ½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- pinch of salt
- 3 teaspoons Red-Hot Black Gomasio, divided
- ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 small, or one medium, kabocha squash, alternatively use butternut or delicata
- 1 handful fresh cilantro
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon tahini, to garnish
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, to garnish
1. To cook the quinoa: Place the quinoa in a small pot over high heat. Add 1/2 cup of the apple cider vinegar, ½ cup of the water and a pinch of the salt. Bring to a soft boil.
2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until most of the water has evaporated (typically, about 10-15 minutes).
3. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. The quinoa is done when it becomes translucent and a small white coil emerges from each grain. Remove from the heat.
4. Stir 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the gomasio into the quinoa. Set Aside until ready to serve.
5. To roast the squash: As the quinoa cooks, let’s prepare the squash. Your oven should be warming to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a sharp knife, cut each squash into halves. Cut each half of into 1-inch slices. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
6. Place the cut squash slices onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the gomasio. Using clean hands, toss until evenly coated.
7. Place in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, turning once halfway. Squash is ready with tender and golden around the edges.
8. To make the dressing: Place the cilantro into the bowl of a food processor with the juice of one lemon, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar. Pulse for a couple of seconds until evenly incorporated.
9. To assemble: Scoop the quinoa into a serving bowl. Place the roasted squash slices over the quinoa. Drizzle the dressing and the tahini over the squash. Sprinkle, the remaining teaspoon of gomasio, the pumpkin seeds, and a few cilantro leaves. Serve immediately!
Cook time 50-60 minutes