Surprisingly, from a huge dislike of any kind of pumpkin, in the last year, Simona managed to change my mind. They say you don’t forget your first love and butternut squash was it for me – a total game-changer.
If you would have told me a year ago I was going to eat pumpkin and even eat a pumpkin pie I would have laughed my head off.
But since I got onto the train, I am sure I am never getting off again. After scrolling on my Pinterest page to gather ideas for Christmas, I found some recipes of stuffed butternut squash.
No matter what, there was always something I didn’t like,. So I just opted to make my own and I must say it was delish! Maybe a bit hot if you asked around the table, but apart from that, it was amazing.
The pictures don’t make it true justice. It started to fall down, but I can assure you that the taste was better than the looks! Knowing my history in the kitchen, I was surprised that almost everything went quite well.
- - 1 large butternut squash
- - 1 aubergine
- - 1 courgette
- - 1 carrot
- - 150 g chestnut mushroom
- - 1 shallot
- - 100 g spinach
- - 1 tbs olive oil
- - 3 garlic cloves
- - 1 tbs soy sauce
- - 1/2 tbs chilli flakes
- - 2 tbs of fresh parsley
- - 1 tsp salt
- - cooking twine
- Preheat the oven at 190 C. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the two halves, cut side down, on a tray covered in baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until tender.
- In the meantime, chop the shallot and garlic cloves finely. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and brown the onion and garlic.
- Cut the carrot, aubergine and courgette lengthways with a peeler. If the aubergine is too hard to cut with a peeler, use a knife and thinly slice lengthways.
- Add the soy sauce, chilli flakes and salt. Add the vegetables to the onion and garlic and let it cook for about ten minutes. Stir often and in case it's needed, drizzle some more oil as the aubergine tend to absorb it fast.
- Wash and slice the mushrooms. Add them in the saucepan and let it cook for another 8 - 10 minutes. In the meantime, thinly mince the parsley and add it to the pan.
- When the butternut is ready take it out of the oven and let it cool. Use a scoop to take the inside of the squash leaving a 3 cm border all around. This will make enough space for your filling.
- Add the squash pulp to the pan and stir well. When everything is cooked, remove from the heat.
- Wash and drain the spinach, cook them over medium heat for a couple of minutes with a drizzle of oil and salt.
- Start layering the squash with the mix of vegetables in both halves. Spoon the spinach on one of the halves. Put the two halves together and tie with cooking twine.
- Drizzle with olive oil and put the squash back in the tray and bake for another 40 minutes, until the squash is tender.
- Slice the squash, discard the twine and serve.
That you want to make this your vegan centrepiece or just a side, there’s plenty of serving ideas for it. You can serve your roasted butternut squash alongside some pesto or nice chutneys, or if a main beside some rice or quinoa.
In my opinion, it goes well even with my beloved couscous – but I kind of use it everywhere, so I might be biased. Also if you still have some filling left as I did – because I cook for a legion – it’s a quick dinner idea.