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The Crisper Whisperer: Squash and Quinoa with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

In these middling days of autumn, with weather neither hot nor cold, I tend to gravitate toward equally noncommittal vegetable dishes. They'll commit to being full of the flavors and colors of the season, but beyond that, they don't like to be pinned down.

Take the attached recipe, for instance. It's a bright, beautiful bowl of roasted dumpling squash, baby spinach, and quinoa, tossed together with a zingy cilantro-lime dressing and a few crunchy pepitas. Is it a salad? Sure, you could call it that if you feel like it, and even serve it chilled. But if you're in the mood for a warming main at dinner, you could just as viably ignore its salad-like tendencies and serve it hot. Maybe even with a green salad on the side, to really confuse matters.

Luckily—like many things in the world that are worth getting to know—this meal is easier to like than it is to understand. It will leave you satisfied, even if it also leaves you guessing.

About the author: Carolyn Cope is the voice behind the popular food blog Umami Girl. A recent transplant to London, she's trying her best to act nonchalant in the company of courgettes and aubergines. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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