It's lovely when the weather starts to get a bit colder to have some baked vegetables. This butternut pumpkin is real comfort food. It is so easy to make and it tastes so good!! You can have it as a vegetarian dish and serve it with a salad or you can add some meat or chicken. A great recipe from 'River Cottage Everyday! Check the variations at the end of the recipe. 😍
1 medium butternut squash
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
75g walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
100g blue cheese, crumbled into small lumps
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp runny honey
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Make sure the outside of the squash is scrubbed clean. Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds and soft fibres. Put in a roasting dish, add the chopped garlic and a nut of butter to each cavity, then brush with a little oil and season well.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, until the flesh feels very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
Scoop the soft flesh and all the buttery, garlicky juices out into a bowl, leaving a 1 cm thick layer of flesh still attached to the skin, so the squash holds its shape.
Roughly mash the flesh. Keep back a few pieces of walnut and a little of the cheese, then fold the remaining walnuts and cheese into the soft squash, along with the thyme and some more salt and pepper.
Spoon the filling back into the empty squash halves and scatter on the reserved cheese and walnuts. Finish with the merest trickle of honey.
Return the squash to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.
Serve with a crisp green salad or some meat or chicken.
Serves 2 as a Main or 4 as an Entrée
Crisp bacon-stuffed squash
Chop 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon and fry for a minute or two until crisp and golden. Stir these into the soft squash flesh, along with about 50g finely grated Gruyère cheese, a tablespoon of chopped chives and plenty of black pepper. top with a little more grated Gruyère before returning to the oven.
Crème fraîche and herb-stuffed squash
Add 1 teaspoon each of finely chopped basil, thyme and oregano to the mashed squash, stir in 3-4 tablespoons of crème fraîche and season very well before returning to the oven,.