Mushroom Lasagna with Butternut Squash Sauce

It’s been many years since I’ve made the main Thanksgiving meal, but this year I have the honor.  And of course, being vegetarian, Thanksgiving dinner at my house is anything but traditional. I remember one year making what essentially was a pile of veggies and seitan in a delicious sauce, covered with puff pastry, then baked (it was sort of supposed to resemble the shape of a turkey). It was a huge hit, but sadly, I didn’t keep the recipe and have never been able to find it, despite endless Google searches.

This year, the usual hosts are going to another side of their family for the big celebration, so we, I’m happy to say, will take over the hosting duties for the rest of the family. With a busy schedule leading up to the holiday, basing our meal around a entrée that won’t require a ton of advanced prep time and will allow me to actually participate in the appetizers and drinks part of the party, is important.

That’s the nice thing about lasagna. You can prep all the ingredients ahead of time and pop it in the oven while you and your guests enjoy time together before sitting down to dinner. The only extras needed are a salad and maybe some good quality bread; no menagerie of side dishes required. But not a conventional lasagna. I want something seasonal, with butternut squash and mushrooms, that isn’t too rich.


Don’t forget to roast the seeds!


I looked at a lot of recipes and most had a béchamel or white sauce in place of the typical tomato, which can be heavy. The recipe I chose to adapt replaces the béchamel with a squash sauce that is amazing! The lemon zest just takes it over the top and makes for a truly unique and memorable (in a very good way) dish.

It’s also a very adaptable recipe. You can change the cheese if you can’t find Gruyere, change up the mushroom variety to what’s accessible, and use any hearty green. You can even add some veggie sausage if you want a more robust meal. I made a half recipe in an 8 x 8 pan as a taste test and it’s definitely holiday company-worthy, and I’m quite sure no one will miss the meat. Enjoy!

Mushroom Lasagna with Butternut Squash Sauce

Adapted from this recipe
Can easily be halved and cooked in an 8 x 8 pan—cooking time remains the same

1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles, preferably whole wheat

2 to 2 1/2 pound butternut squash (or 2 pounds chopped squash)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large bunch chard, kale, or beet greens, washed, ribs/stems removed and cut into thin ribbons

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

½ pound oyster mushrooms, cleaned and broken apart

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 dry white wine

1 cup milk (between 2% and whole), plus additional if needed

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Zest of one medium-sized lemon

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for the top of the lasagna

2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

½ cup shredded parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Peel and seed the squash, then cut into 1-inch cubes and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes or until soft, tossing a couple times to ensure even cooking. Remove from oven and set aside to cool a bit.

While the squash is cooking, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a 10-12-inch frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Cook without stirring until brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn them over and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped chard leaves and the white wine and cook until the greens are tender and wilted. Turn off the heat and season the vegetables lightly with salt and pepper.

Place the cooled squash into a large bowl and add 1/2 cup milk, the nutmeg, lemon zest and thyme. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture, adding the remaining milk as you go (this can also be done in a regular blender). Add extra milk if necessary to make the sauce smooth and creamy, but not too thin. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly oil or butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. To assemble the lasagna, spoon about 1/4 of the butternut sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan and spread to thinly coat the bottom. Place 1/4 of the noodles on top and then spread 1/3 of remaining sauce on noodles. Top with 1/2 of the mushroom/greens mixture, and 1 cup of Gruyere cheese. Add another layer of noodles, then sauce, then the rest of the vegetables, and the remaining Gruyere. Top with the final layer of noodles and spread the last 1/3 of the sauce over top. Sprinkle evenly with the parmesan and a pinch of thyme leaves.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is golden and the cheese is gooey. Remove from the oven and let stand uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving. A nice green salad and some good bread make this a meal.

Kale Salad with Cranberries & Cashews

Full meal salad
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the most delicious. Using fresh, high quality ingredients and combining a few complementing components, oftentimes results in a dish with a wow factor you just didn’t see coming. Such was the case with this salad I made for a dinner party last weekend.

A group of friends came over on a gorgeous fall evening—they brought the wine, fabulous reds and a white that paired perfectly with our various courses. And unbeknownst to them, they were my guinea pigs for a couple of recipes I wanted try out as possibilities for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

This fun Roasted Onion Dip (served in hollowed out onions) from a recent issue of Food & Wine Magazine I knew would be good because my parents were the testers for a small batch made when they were here earlier that week and we all agreed it was a definite winner.

Roasted Onion Dip

Roasted Onion Dip with Beluga Lentil Caviar

Our entrées off the grill were simple tried and true basics, but the salad and dessert were first timers in my kitchen. The dessert, a vegan fall fruit crisp, was a bit of a disappointment and I wouldn’t make it again, but the salad was another story. Everyone loved it and I think this is the first time I haven’t had at least a little bit remaining in the big salad bowl when everyone was done eating. You know how it goes, you pack the leftovers in a container, pop it in the fridge, and there it sits until you throw it away a week later because no one EVER eats left over already-dressed salad.


After enjoying a mostly great dinner, we talked and laughed by a blazing bonfire Pete made down by the pond. What an incredible night! The dearest of friends, great food & drink, and a toasty fire under a clear, star-filled autumn sky. Ah, life is good!

I followed the recipe exactly for the dinner party and when I made it again tonight, I added some cooked black lentils left over from the Roasted Onion Dip (they make a perfect vegan substitute for the caviar suggested in the recipe). The lentils provide additional protein making this a complete meal salad. Enjoy!

Salad with Black Lentils

Salad with Black Lentils

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Cashews

From New York Times Cooking
1 good-size bunch kale, washed and dried

Olive oil or other healthy vegetable oil, as needed

⅔ cup dried cranberries

½ cup crushed toasted cashews

½ cup vegan mayonnaise (Earth Balance Mindful Mayo is delicious)

1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste

Strip the kale leaves off the stems. Cut into ribbons and place in a large bowl. With a little olive oil rubbed into your palms, massage the kale for a minute or so, until it becomes bright green and softens a bit.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve at room temperature. Serves 6-8.

Grandma LaPalm’s Half Moon Cookies

Cookies and Milk
Half Moon Cookies take me back to my childhood; warm memories of visiting my grandma in upstate New York come flooding back. Grandma LaPalm lived in a beautiful house full of antiques and very big rooms (at least they seemed big back then) in a pre-World War II neighborhood that even had an old-fashioned corner store across the street. The house had such charm—a huge front porch, claw-foot bathtub, crystal candy dish on top of the console TV, a den full of wooden toys built by my grandpa, and a mudroom illuminated by a still-burning Edison bulb original to the house.

Frosted Half Moon Cookies

Frosted Half Moon Cookies

Meals at Grandma’s were always at the big round table in her cheery eat-in kitchen, never in the fancy formal dining room, which was just fine with my kid self. Next to the table was a hutch with canisters holding sweet treats, and more often than not, one of those canisters was filled with Half Moon Cookies. Big cakey cookies with half chocolate frosting and half vanilla; which side to eat first was always such a decision!

I’m not sure what made me want to bake up batch recently. Maybe the cooler weather gave me a hankering for something warm and comforting, like a visit to Grandma’s house. Enjoy!

Half Moon Cookies

Half Moon Cookies

Grandma LaPalm's Half Moon Cookies

  • Servings: 2 1/2-3 dozen cookies
  • Print
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ¼ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup sour milk (1 tablespoon vinegar with milk added to make one cup; let sit 5 minutes)

Chocolate and vanilla frosting, recipe follows

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with hand-held mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Alternately mix flour mixture and milk into butter-sugar-egg mixture, a third at a time, mixing well after each addition. When fully mixed, cover bowl and chill for at least two hours and up to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large baking pans with parchment. Using a medium cookie dough scoop (mine is size 30), drop scoops of dough about 2-3 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake for 9-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking, to bake evenly. Remove cookies to rack to cool.

While cookies are cooling, make frosting:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 2/3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, milk, divided

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Mix in the 1/3 cup milk and vanilla alternately with the powdered sugar until all is incorporated and frosting is smooth and creamy.

Removed about half of the frosting to another medium bowl. Beat in cocoa powder and an additional tablespoon milk.

Frost cookies on the flat bottom side, not the domed top side. Frost one half of each cookie with vanilla frosting. Frost the other half with chocolate, using a thicker swath with the chocolate.

Let cookies sit at room temperature until frosting is set. Cookies keep for several days if covered (or in Grandma’s cookie canister!). Makes 2 ½ to 3 dozen cookies.

Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms & Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms & Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms & Brussels Sprouts

Supper tonight was a delicious and relatively quick (less than an hour from start to finish) dish incorporating a few farmers market and grocery store finds I wanted to use up before we head to the cabin later this week for a fall trip to paradise. You could vary the roasted vegetables to what you have on hand or to your liking too—carrots, golden beets, onion, all would be good.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms

You can’t go wrong with the Brussels sprouts, portabella & hen of the woods mushrooms, along with cauliflower I had on hand. I was going to roast all and do a pasta with an olive oil sauce, but then I thought of doing a cauliflower Alfredo. Similar in taste to traditional Alfredo, but dairy-free, with cauliflower being the main ingredient. I think I’ve eaten traditional Alfredo sauce once in my life and with it being way too rich for my liking, never again. Plus, it feels like my arteries are clogging just reading the ingredients. This version is just as flavorful and extremely healthy.

Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo

Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo

Both Brussels sprouts and mushrooms rise to new culinary heights when roasted and are perfect with the creamy sauce and whole wheat pasta. It’s comfort food that satisfies without the guilt. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms & Brussels Sprouts

½ pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, if large

½ pound assorted mushrooms (I used hen of the woods and portabella), cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small head cauliflower

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ cup milk of choice (I used almond)

½ cup nutritional yeast

Juice of one lemon

1 pound whole wheat (or gluten-free) pasta (elbows, fusilli, penne), prepared in salted water, according to package directions, drained and returned to pot to keep warm

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place Brussels sprouts in a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt & pepper, to taste. Transfer to a large baking sheet, place cut side down. Put mushrooms in same bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt & pepper, to taste. Transfer mushrooms to baking sheet along with the Brussels sprouts. Spread out so as not to crowd the vegetables. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until veggies are tender. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, remove leaves and core from head of cauliflower and roughly chop into like sized pieces. In batches, process in food processor until the consistency of rice. Put cauliflower “rice,” along with minced garlic, in a microwave safe, non-plastic container and microwave uncovered for 8 minutes, until cooked.

Transfer cauliflower-garlic mixture to a food processor or blender. Add milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt & pepper and process/blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Transfer sauce to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm.

Mix warm roasted veggies into cooked pasta and toss. Then toss with most or all of the cauliflower Alfredo sauce. Serve in pasta bowls, garnished with chopped parsley, if desired. Makes 6-8 servings.

Roasted Beet & Portabella Mushroom Pizza with Beet Greens Pesto

Roasted Beet & Portabella Mushroom Pizza with Beet Greens Pesto

Roasted Beet & Portabella Mushroom Pizza with Beet Greens Pesto

I have a new favorite pizza! Again.

Earlier this summer I discovered how great rainbow chard or beet greens and mushrooms taste when roasted and served together. With the beets in our garden finally ready, I had a huge bag ‘o beet greens to make into something delicious.

How about a pesto? Could it be that beet green pesto is really a thing? It is. And it’s really good. Skeptical at first about the chosen recipe because it was different from most pesto recipes I’ve done in the past—it didn’t include lemon juice, it called for raw rather than toasted nuts, and it had less than half the olive oil. Once made though, it had amazing flavor and I thought it’d be great on pizza. Of course I would include mushrooms for that great combo of greens and mushrooms, and why not include the beets too?

After roasting two portabella mushroom caps and a couple larger beets, I spread the beet green pesto over a homemade whole wheat pizza crust, topped it with sliced roasted beets and portabellas, and after pondering the best cheese to enhance this combo, I opted for a bit of shredded pepper jack. Not too much—just enough to add a creamy spiciness to go with the other robust flavors.

Veggies ready for roasting

Veggies ready for roasting

Prepared for this uncharted pizza territory to be a total bust, I, along with my dinner guest and fellow foodie, Dawn, were surprised to fall in love with this new pie. The earthiness of the pesto and mushrooms, sweetness of the beets and the piquant heat of the pepper jack came together in pizza perfection. Enjoy!

Oh, and by the way, the pizza dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas. You can refrigerate half the dough for a day or two, freeze it for a couple months, or just make two pizzas. My second one was a roasted cherry tomato and onion pizza that just had a brush of good quality olive oil as a sauce. It was great!

Roasted Tomato & Onion Pizza

Roasted Tomato & Onion Pizza

Roasted Beet & Portabella Mushroom Pizza with Beet Greens Pesto

This recipe sounds very time-consuming, but you can make everything ahead of time and then do the final pizza assembling and baking shortly before you’re ready to serve it.

Beet Green Pesto (from Oh My Veggies blog):
About 4 cups washed and dried beet greens, stems and thicker middle ribs removed

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place the beet greens, garlic, walnuts, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running slowly, drizzle in the olive oil. Continue to process until smooth, adding more oil if necessary to achieve a saucy consistency (I didn’t need any additional oil). Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days before using.

Pizza dough:
1 ¼ cups warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees F.)

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)

1 tablespoon honey

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 ½ cups unbleached white flour, plus additional flour for kneading and rolling

2 teaspoons sea salt

Place warm water in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in yeast and whisk in honey. Let stand until foamy, 5-10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix flours and salt. Add gradually to yeast mixture, either mixing with a wooden spoon or dough hook of a stand mixer until combined. If doing by hand, turn out of bowl onto a floured surface and knead by hand for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make a smooth, only slightly sticky dough. If using a stand mixer, knead with dough hook for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make a smooth, only slightly sticky dough.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Allow to rise till double in size (about an hour) in a warm, draft-free place.

Place a pizza stone or upside down baking sheet in oven and preheat to 525 degrees F.

Punch down dough and turn out onto floured surface. Divide dough in half and refrigerate or freeze half for another use (or better yet, make 2 pizzas!).

On floured surface, roll/toss dough to make a 12-14 inch round (or sorta round). Place round on pizza stone and bake 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack. This can be made ahead of time and wrapped in plastic for up to a day or frozen for a up to a month.

Roasted Veggies:
2 portabella mushroom caps, cleaned, stems removed and gills scraped off

2 large beets, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss beet slices with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Place beets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush tops and bottoms of mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place stem side up on baking sheet next to beets. Roast for about 15 minutes, until beets are tender. You may need to remove beets from the pan and roast mushrooms for 5-10 minutes longer, until tender. Slice mushrooms into strips about ½ inch wide. Roasting can be done ahead of time.

To assemble pizza:
Beet green pesto

Roasted beets and mushrooms

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Place a pizza stone or upside down baking sheet in oven and preheat to 525 degrees F.

Just before baking, spread pesto onto partially baked crust (you won’t use all the pesto). Top with roasted beet and mushroom slices. Sprinkle pepper jack and parmesan evenly over pizza. Bake about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden. If you’d like, turn the oven to broil for about a minute or two to brown the cheese slightly. Watch the pizza closely if you do this—it can go from perfect to burned in seconds.

Remove pizza from oven onto large cutting board and cut into wedges. Serves 2-4.

Inside Out Tomato Sandwiches

Much to our surprise, we’ve got more tomatoes than we can handle. With only two plants baring the big ones (Celebrity and Beefsteak), I didn’t think it could happen, but they’ve invaded my kitchen and have got me scrambling to use them before they go bad. I’ve been searching for recipes that utilize several at once, like Shakshuka, and tomatoes are making their way into every meal in some form or another. Of course, they’ll be going into batches of this too!



One simple, but unique, recipe I stumbled across in my quest is this twist on a tomato sandwich that has got to the best I’ve ever had! Instead of tomatoes sandwiched between two slices of bread (that’s so yesterday!), we have bread sandwiched between tomatoes. And this is no ordinary bread—it’s parmesan crusted so you get that amazing taste transformation from regular delicious parmesan to the golden toasted, slightly crisp over the top scrumptiousness achieved simply from a few minutes in a hot pan.

It’s up to you what bread to use, but make it good quality and thick cut, about ½ inch (gluten-free works too). I used large slices of marbled rye and it was amazing! Also, break out your special extra virgin olive oil for this one. The fruity and flavorful stuff you reserve for drizzling or dipping—you’ll be glad you did. Oh, and use the good flaky salt too, if you’ve got it. Add a fried egg on top and you’ve got breakfast. Enjoy!

Tomato Sandwich

Inside Out Tomato Sandwiches

Adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe

2 slices good quality bread (Italian, sour dough, marbled rye, rustic whole grain, or gluten-free) 1/2 inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil (the good stuff you reserve for drizzling and dipping)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices ripe tomato (beefsteak or heirloom work well), 1/2 inch thick
Red-wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves, torn if large

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and brush with a bit of oil (you could also use a non-stick pan with no oil). Brush one side of each slice of bread with oil, then pat half the cheese evenly over the two slices of bread and push down so the cheese adheres.

Place bread slices coated side down in prepared skillet. While the bottom browns, brush the tops of the bread slices with oil and pat with remaining cheese. When the cheese on the bottom has melted and is golden brown, gently flip and cook until the other side browns, about five minutes total.

To serve, place one tomato slice on each of two plates. Sprinkle each tomato with a little red wine vinegar, then drizzle with oil; season with flaky salt and freshly ground pepper. Layer with toasted bread and remaining tomato slice. Sprinkle with vinegar, then drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Top with basil and serve with a fork and knife (unless you want to get messy). Makes two sandwiches.

Toasted Quinoa, Sweet Corn & Tomato Salad with Harissa Lime Vinaigrette

Salad on platter
I’m certainly no farmer, but based on the outstanding quality of the farmers market finds this year, and from the amazing bounty our garden has produced, it must be a great growing year. There hasn’t been a so-so ear of sweet corn or a flavorless cantaloupe. Every onion, eggplant, cabbage, berry or broccoli head from our local growers has been fantastic and I don’t remember that happening before. Usually the corn seems to vary in sweetness and flavor from week to week and I’ve certainly experienced totally disappointing melons from time to time, but this year it’s all been great!

This morning's garden harvest

This morning’s garden harvest

With our beginner to novice status as gardeners, I’ve got to think it’s more the conditions and not anything we’ve done that has yielded the most beautiful tomatoes I’ve ever grown and the best tasting cucumbers I can remember. Whatever the reason for all these fabulous veggies and fruits, I’m just basking in the happiness it brings to my kitchen.

With September almost here in Minnesota, I know this local fresh food joy will soon start winding down, but I will eke every delicious moment out of the season.

One recipe I’ve been playing with is a corn and tomato salad. I’ve made a version with small balls of mozzarella, then swapped in black beans as the protein, varied the additional veggies, and tonight, a quinoa version, which ended up being our favorite. All were dressed with a spicy harissa-lime vinaigrette, my new favorite!

I toast the quinoa before cooking to bring out a more nuanced flavor. It only takes a few additional minutes and I think the extra time is definitely worth it. You can substitute some of the veggies with what you have on hand or to your preference, but corn and tomatoes are musts this time of year. One version I made included our yummy crisp cucumbers, and it was wonderful when eaten immediately, but the cukes released a lot of water and the leftovers were a bit soggy, so I’ve opted to leave them out here. Enjoy the flavors of summer!

Toasted Quinoa Salad

Toasted Quinoa Salad

Toasted Quinoa, Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad with Harissa Vinaigrette

Harissa is a spicy Moroccan red pepper sauce. Substitute sriracha or Asian chili paste if you can’t find harissa.

1 cup uncooked quinoa (white or red—either works)

1 ½ cup water

4 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cups cooled cooked sweet corn, about the amount scraped from two ears (if using frozen, thaw first)

1 Anaheim pepper (or small sweet green bell pepper), seeded and thinly sliced into rounds

A couple handfuls cherry tomatoes, preferably more than one color, halved or quartered, depending on size

1/8 cup sliced or torn fresh basil Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Harissa Lime Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cool water. Drain. Transfer to a 2 qt. saucepan and toast quinoa over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until it starts popping and is fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the water and bring it to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover pan and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Let cool for a few minutes and stir in scallions.

Once quinoa/scallion mixture is cooled to room temperature, stir in corn, Anaheim pepper, tomatoes, and most of the basil (reserve a little for garnish). Toss with about half of the vinaigrette, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Add more vinaigrette, if needed, and toss again. Transfer to a platter and serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes about 6 servings.

Harissa Lime Vinaigrette:
2-3 tablespoons honey (or agave for a vegan version)

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon harissa

A pinch of salt

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix together first six ingredients in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until it’s fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, lime or honey, if needed.