Seriously your dog could make this…
Well maybe not but honestly this is one very easy way to ramp up your plant-based cooking repatoire and make eating vegetables a little bit more exciting. I’ve made this a few times now and it’s tasty as well as nourishing. Simples.
So I kinda made this up myself after eating something very similar at The Refuge in Manchester back in the summer. Would highly recommend paying those guys a visit, you won’t be disappointed. Before then I’d never really paid a lot of attention to butternut squash. It’s not that I had anything against it, I just didn’t really know what to do with it. And let’s be honest it is one of the more intimidating looking vegetables, those thing are hea-vy.
The flesh is sweet and buttery like a sweet potato but not as starchy, and the skin goes all crispy when you roast it. Plus they’re the most amazing orange colour inside!
Packed full of complex carbs, vitamins A and C plus, squash is a good source of calcium so great if you’re dairy free or vegan.
Harissa is a hot, aromatic paste made from chillies and lots of other herbs and spices. It has just the right amount of heat to off set the sweetness of the squash. I think this is a perfect autumn dish especially since September is prime squash season, which means a low-carbon footprint – another win for the sustainability squad!
To be honest I’m a bit of a lazy chef especially when I’m cooking just for me, so I usually have this on its own instead of a jacket potato but I think it makes a great meat alternative paired with some olive oil roasted potatoes and some seasonal greens on the side.
This recipe is for one roasted squash. That’s more than enough for two people.
- One butternut squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp harissa paste
- Steamed seasonal greens to serve
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C (gas mark 6) and grease an oven proof roasting tin with half the olive oil
- Cut squash in half lengthways (it’s prettier this way and cooks quicker) and scoop out the seeds
- Place skin side up on tray and brush with olive oil
- Bake in centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until flesh is semi softened
- Remove from the oven, turn the squash halves so they are skin side down and coat both sides with the harissa paste. You want a good covering but bear in mind this stuff is quite spicy so don’t over do it.
- Return to the oven for another 35-40 mins or until the flesh is completely soft like a baked potato
- Serve on its own or with your seasonal greens
You can speed up the cooking time slightly if you nuke the squash halves in the microwave for 6 mins either side (you’ll have to vary this according to the strength of your microwave).
Voila! That is literally it. Hope you like. I’d love some more vegetarian/plant-based recipies that include this wonderful vegetable, please share yours in the comments below!