Saturday, 29 March 2014

food for your soul

At the off chance of being really boring I want to share a favourite recipe of mine. To be honest, there is not much to it, it is just spicy roast butternut squash. I am sure a variation of this can be found in many cookery books.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. I have no idea what this might be in Fahrenheit.

Choose a squash of your liking. Where I live, the choice is limited and I usually settle for the butternut variety. They seem to be available year round, probably at a great ecological cost. I have to be honest here, I do sometimes buy this out of season because it so versatile to cook and satisfying to eat. Squash can be stored in a cool dry place for a long time, which extends the season somewhat.


Cut the squash in half. This can be quite hard, depending on the choice of kitchen knife you have available. I use the biggest and heaviest knife I have. Then scoop the seeds out with a spoon, or an ice cream scoop. If you like, you can separate the stringy flesh from the seeds and roast them along with the butternut squash. The flesh of the butternut squash is beautifully orange. One of my favourite colours ever.

Cut the two halves into smaller segments. I usually get about 8 to 10 segments. Arrange the segments in a roasting tin.

To make the spice mix, crush a teaspoon of black pepper corns and a teaspoon of coriander seeds. Use a spice grinder if you like. I like it quite coarse because it adds a bit of bite to the roast squash. You could of course use ready ground spices but I love the smell of freshly pounded pepper and coriander. Add to this a teaspoon or two of dried herbs. Oregano is nice but use what you have and what you like. I prefer dried herbs rather than fresh ones. Add a teaspoon of dried crushed chillies, half a teaspoon of fennel seeds and one or two crushed cloves of garlic. Add salt to taste. I add about half a teaspoon. I know lots of people in this country avoid salt altogether but I don't.


Finally add to your mix of spices two to four tablespoons of olive oil. The amount doesn't matter so much as long as it looks about like this:


Pour the spices over the squash and rub it into each segment. Bake the squash for about 30 minutes. I test how soft it is with the tip of a kitchen knife. Squash doesn't taste very nice if it is still hard.

 
 
The roast butternut squash tastes nice on its own, straight from the oven or cooled down. I particularly like it in risotto. Just remove the skin of the squash and cut the segments into smaller pieces. Fold these into the risotto carefully because you don't want it to look like a orangey unappealing mush. Make sure not to waste the spice mix in the roasting dish, spoon it on top of your risotto, or a piece of bread.

 
Have a lovely weekend! Cx

21 comments:

  1. Oh gosh, that looks so delicious! I love butternut but often avoid it because it is so hard to cut and peel. I usually make soup with it but my husband likes it with a roast chicken. x

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    1. I watched my husband peel it with a potato peeler and copied it. It works a treat. It is much easier to cut once it is peeled. Cx

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  2. Oh, yum! I love squash and tend to buy it year round, I have to confess. Squash risotto (with peas and pancetta/bacon) is a stand-by favourite here but I would happily just eat your roasted squash straight from the oven tin! x

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    1. I am glad I am not the only all year round buyer!

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  3. It looks delicious, Christina. I buy a lot of squash too and use it in many different ways. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. This sounds great and I'm really going to try it. I have to confess - I've never cooked squash! Don't think I've eaten it either!

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  5. It sounds delicious. I roasted some squash tonight, we do like it. Next time I'll try it your way. Thanks for the recipe.

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  6. So so glad you found me because now I have found you AND I will print this out and cook it for supper next week!!
    My family are thanking you too..... because they are bored of all my usual recipes....so glad you commented on my blog......Bestest wishes to you this weekend
    daisy j x

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    1. I hope they won't be disappointed. Mine always complain but eat it anyway...

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  7. I wish you didn't live on the other side of the world as I would be inviting myself over for dinner! xo

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  8. I have bookmarked this, it looks gorgeous. I make a mean roasted butternut squash soup. I love it when recipies are shared this way.
    Leanne xx

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  9. This looks delicious, and I just happen to have a butternut squash sitting on my kitchen cupboard. Thanks for the recipe idea!

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  10. We've had butternut squash in a thai fish curry today... one of my favourite vegetables. I like the sound of your recipe!

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  11. We call this butternut pumpkin and I absolutely love it and actually have it pretty much every week roasted in the oven with roast leg of lamb. I haven't done the spiced version but it looks amazing :-)

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  12. Yum that looks and sound so good.

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  13. I love butternut squash and it goes so nicely with warming spices... thanks for the idea (I always just blitz it into a soup with a swirl of creme frache on top).
    Sadly nobody in the house likes it. All the more for me I suppose!
    S x

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  14. Risotto is one of my favourite foods and although I cook a lot I've never made it - this sounds just perfect Christina. I think I need to try the spiced squash, it sounds lovely, I'm going to print the recipe off now!

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    1. Next I'll post my risotto recipe, just for you!

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  15. I'm the weird one here Christina...I can't eat squash (or any type of gourd - or courgettes or beetroot...see a very strange girl) due to a food allergies (pumpkin carving requires antihistamines and rubber gloves!!). I often wonder what to use instead of squash! I think your spice mix looks delicious and quite fancy it on potatoes :) x

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    1. I was thinking of roast peppers with the same spice mix? What a shame to be allergic to such a versatile vegetable group.

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  16. Loving the idea of the risotto ... I've just shared the link to the post with my husband who does a lot of the cooking here and is looking for new recipes to try. Thanks for sharing Christina :)

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx