This year I’m extra excited about the holiday season. I absolutely love this time of year but I feel like this year I’m getting into the spirit even earlier than normal. I’ve already put a decent dent into my Christmas shopping and I’m seriously thinking of putting some of our Christmas decorations up this weekend. The holiday season goes by in a blur and I want to make a conscience effort to fully embrace the season without letting all the to-do’s stress me out. With Thanksgiving just a week away I feel like I’m entering the season feeling a little less overwhelmed.
Another part of the holiday planning, and what makes my food loving heart sing, is coming up with dishes that will make it onto our table over the holiday season. This roasted squash with bulgur and walnuts is a beautiful fall or winter dish that can easily be added to your holiday table for a festive and delicious touch.
Bulgur is most often found in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. It’s a whole wheat grain that’s been cracked and partially pre-cooked. As a whole grain, it’s a naturally high-fiber, low-fat, and low calorie food ingredient. I had some leftover bulgur in my pantry waiting for its next use, which is why I chose to use it here. You can use it just like rice couscous, or quinoa and I found this to be a welcome change to my usual grain bowl mixtures. I love the nuttiness of the bulgur and the all around earthiness of the dish when paired with the toasted walnuts and squash.
Chewy bulgur, sweet and tender roasted squash, creamy goat cheese and toasted walnuts provide this dish with gorgeous color and contrasting flavors. It’s a healthy and nutritious meal that can serve alone as a vegetarian meal option or alongside fish, chicken or other protein of your choosing.
- 1 cup uncooked bulgur
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, + 1½ teaspoons
- 1 Acorn Squash, chopped and seeded (1½-2 cups total)
- ¼ cup goat cheese
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Heat saucepan over medium heat. Add 1½ teaspoons of oil to the pan. Swirl to coat. Add bulgur. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until liquid absorbs. (10-12 minutes).
- Meanwhile Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss together the chopped acorn squash, salt, pepper, nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Spread squash in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes or till tender.
- Stir together the nuts, balsamic vinegar, honey, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Add salt to taste. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir together the cooked bulgur and parsley in a medium-sized bowl. Add the walnut vinaigrette to the bulgur. Toss to coat. Transfer to a platter and top with the roasted squash and goat cheese.