I was reading an article in the NZ Herald yesterday about food establishments that had closed due to poor food safety and generally filthy conditions. The pictures and descriptions included in the article were pretty stomach churning and enough to put you off your lunch. Unless of course you packed it yourself! I have always been a great lover of picnics and packed lunches, of opening up little parcels of home cooked goodness and my eldest son loves it too. As soon as we hop in the car he asks if he can have something from his lunch box. Not only is it usually a healthier option than eating out but it is so much cheaper.
This frittata is usually a weeknight dinner for us but it makes enough to fill our lunch boxes the next day. Hot or cold it is delicious and a hearty tummy filler.
If you can pre-roast the butternut squash it will make the recipe much quicker, simply peel it and cut it into cubes, pour over a tablespoon of olive oil and toss together with a little salt and pepper. Then spread on baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and bake at 180’c/350’f for around 30 minutes or until soft.
You can also prepare the quinoa in advance, just rinse 1/2 a cup of quinoa and throw it in a saucepan with 1 cup of cold water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, pop a lid on and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Then take it off the heat, but leave the lid on and allow the quinoa to steam for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl and set aside until required.
When you are ready to bake the frittata simply line a baking dish of 25cm/10″ x 15cm/6″ with baking paper and gather the ingredients together. Beat the milk, eggs and baking powder together with a 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Add in the garlic, quinoa and parmesan, the spinach and *sun dried tomatoes and mix until well combined, then carefully fold in the butternut squash.
Now simply pour the mixture into the lined baking dish using a butter knife to distribute the ingredients evenly throughout the dish and finally crumble the feta over the top.
Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about an hour at 180’c/350’f, you will know when it is cooked as the top will puff up evenly and be a sumptuous golden brown calling you to dig in!
It divides into 6 generous portions and you can serve it with seasonal veggies or a salad. Cucumbers have just become affordable again and happen to be a certain 3 year olds favourite salad ingredient so we had a cucumber ladened Greek style salad with ours. Yum!
Roasted butternut squash, spinach and quinoa frittata
prep time: 35 minutes (from scratch), 10 mins if squash and quinoa are prepared ahead of time, cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 6, cost per serve: $2.00 (Using free-range eggs)
- 650g butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 85g/1/2 cup quinoa
- 250ml/1 cup water
- 8 eggs
- 200ml/3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp of each salt and pepper
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 30g/1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 6 or 7 sun-dried tomatoes diced
- 100g/1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid removed
- 100g/2/3 cup feta, danish style or soft goats cheese
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 180’c/350’f. Peel the butternut squash and chop in to 1-2inch cubes. Toss with a little olive oil, some salt and pepper, place on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the quinoa by rinsing in cold water then place in a saucepan with 250ml/1cup of cold water. Bring to the boil then pop the lid on and reduce the heat. Cook for 10-15 mins or until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat but leave the lid on and allow to steam for a further 10 minutes. Once it has steamed fluff it with a fork and set aside to cool.
- If you did step 1 in advance preheat the oven again to 180’c/350’f. Line a baking dish 25cm/10″ x 15cm/6″ with baking paper.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs, milk and baking powder together with the salt and pepper.
- Add in the garlic, quinoa, parmesan, sun dried tomatoes and spinach. Stir until combined, then carefully fold in the butternut squash.
- Pour the mixture in to the prepared baking dish then top with the Danish style feta and grate over a little nutmeg.
- Place in the centre of the oven and bake for around an hour. The frittata will turn golden brown and puff up when cooked.
Serve hot or cold with seasonal veggies, salad or on its own…Enjoy
Notes: *If you can find sun dried tomatoes that aren’t jarred you will save a bundle, I buy a 500g bag for around $5.00 at my favourite bulk food shop. When you want to use them simply rehydrate them slightly by placing them in a small bowl and covering them with boiling water. Allow them to stand for 5 minutes and they are ready to use.