What to do with butternut squash


Squash are versatile ingredients that can be used in a number of dishes. Pumpkin flesh tends to be a little sweeter and has a higher moisture content making excellent soups and purees, the flesh from squashes is a little firmer and great for roasting or adding to curries and stews.


ROASTED CURRIED VEGETABLES

A comforting dish served with egg noodles or a brilliant accompaniment to tandoori style chicken. This recipe is a great fridge clearer, whatever you have in your salad drawer can go into it, cauliflower, aubergine, boiled potatoes, tomatoes - you can really experiment.

½ butternut squash, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes

1 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks

1 large courgette, cut into chunks

1 red pepper, cut into 2 cm squares

10 button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved

3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small red or green chilli, sliced

1 heaped tbsp Garam Masala mix

1 heaped tbsp medium curry powder

5 tbsp quality olive oil

Salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat your oven to 400F/200°C/Gas Mark 6. Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together until the vegetables are thoroughly coated with the spices and oil. Line a deep sided roasting tray with baking parchment and spread the vegetables evenly, season well and cover with aluminium foil.

2. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully discard the foil. Return to the oven and roast for a further 25 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and turning golden brown. Heap into a bowl and garnish with some freshly chopped coriander and serve.


ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, QUINOA & POMEGRANATE SALAD

This is delicious on its own or with crumbled Feta cheese. Serve as a base for grilled spiced chicken breast or pan-fried salmon fillet.

Half a serving of roasted butternut squash chunks

250g prepared ready-to-eat quinoa

75g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

Seeds of 1 pomegranate

2 tbsp freshly chopped Parsley

1 tbsp freshly chopped Mint

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

A small handful pumpkin seeds (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the quinoa into a large bowl and fluff it up with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Check the taste, season, mix again and serve.


HONEY & THYME ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Great as a side with roast pork or chicken. If you prefer, you could use maple syrup and rosemary instead of the honey and thyme or throw in a couple of cloves of roughly crushed garlic and a spoonful of curry powder.

½ butternut squash, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes

2 tbsp quality olive oil

2 tbsp runny honey

A sprig of fresh thyme or ½ tsp of dried thyme

Salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat your oven to 400F/200°C/Gas Mark 6. Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together, until the squash is thoroughly coated. Line a deep sided roasting tray with baking parchment, place in the squash and spread evenly, season well, then cover with aluminium foil.

Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully discard the foil. Return to the oven and roast for a further 25 minutes until the squash is cooked through and turning brown. Remove and allow to cool.


PUMPKIN, CHILLI & GINGER SOUP

This is a brilliant warming soup to serve right through the autumn and winter months.

1 medium pumpkin, peeled and deseeded

700 ml hot vegetable stock

150 ml thick Jersey cream

2 onions, peeled and sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 large red chilli, sliced

A 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

Juice and zest of 1 fresh lime

4 tbsp quality olive oil

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp plain four

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat your oven to 400F/200°C/Gas Mark 6. Mix the pumpkin, onion and carrots in half the oil and place in a large, deep roasting tin. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring a couple of times to help the vegetables cook evenly, until they are caramelised and cooked through.

2. Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli - cook for a couple of minutes then add the flour and stir. Add the roasted vegetables and the vegetable stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool, puree with a stick blender or a food processor until smooth and pour into a clean pan. Add the lime juice, zest and cream. Reheat and check the seasoning before serving. Can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for three days without the cream.

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