Autumn calls for a celebration! A time to pay tribute to all of the hardworking farmers who have put in countless hours over the summer months to bring us this year’s harvest. Not only is it the most beautiful of seasons, it’s a great time of year for fruit and veg - one of my favourites being butternut squash.
Sweet and nutty in flavour, coming in various shapes and sizes, there is something comforting about butternut squash that seems to evoke autumn.
Often referred to, and used as a vegetable, butternut squash is actually a fruit belonging to the Cuburbita Moschata species along with other family members pumpkin, cucumber and courgette. A versatile ‘fruit’, butternut squash can be roasted, toasted, puréed for soups or mashed into casseroles, breads and muffins. It’s also a great source of vitamin A and C and offers a well-balanced source of complex carbohydrates.
As we officially welcomed Autumn on the 22nd of September, I thought we’d share with you a seasonal dish The Bookshop’s Chef Nicole has prepared. It makes a delicious autumnal side dish to your Sunday roast, served with a generous dollop of Neal’s Yard Yoghurt and a sprinkle of sumac and roasted pumpkin seeds.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED...
• 1 Butternut Squash
• 2 tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
• 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
• 2 Red Chillies
• 4 Cloves of Garlic
• 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
• 50g Fresh Coriander
• 3 tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
• Squeeze of Lemon
• Sea Salt
• 150g Neal’s Yard Yoghurt
• 50g Pumpkin Seeds
• A few pinches of Sumac
• Leaves to Garnish
Preheat your oven to 200 with fan
To prepare the squash, leave the skin on - this adds a great texture and flavour to the dish. Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds - discard. Cut in half width ways and then cut into one and a half centimetre lengths.
Place the squash in a bowl and toss with the chillies cut in half, crushed garlic with the skin on, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and sea salt. Place onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
Whilst the squash is roasting, in a blender place the bunch of coriander roughly chopped (stalks too), blitz until fine and add the olive oil and rapeseed oil. If needed, add more oil for consistency. Add a squeeze of lemon and sea salt to taste. The coriander oil should be highly seasoned to add flavour to the squash.
To toast the pumpkin seeds, place in a dry frying pan on a low heat, keep watching them and moving them around until perfectly toasted.
Once the squash is cool (room temperature is ideal) place in a bowl and dress with the coriander oil so that it is coated all over.
Neatly place the squash on a plate and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with yoghurt and a dusting of sumac. Garnish with seasonal leaves or herbs.