Stuffed butternut squash
In January, one of the seasonal veggies is the butternut squash (in fact all types of squashes).
And a very tasty and simple way of cooking it is by roasting it.
Don't bother peeling it. Just wash it thoroughly under the tap water (it might need a little scrub if some soil is stuck to it), cut it into two halves, scoop out the seeds, drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, season and here you are. Pop it into the oven to cook for 30-40 mins.
You can also stuff them in order to make a complete meal out of it. Try this recipe.
Ingredients (serving 2 to 4 people):
1 butternut squash
1 garlic clove
150g minced lamb
150g cooked wholegrain rice (or cooked puy lentils, or pearl barley - whatever is left over in your fridge from a previous meal)
1 tsp of ras-el-hanout (Moroccan spice mix)
1 small handful of pine nuts
100ml of chicken stock
1 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (optional)
1 tsp harissa (optional, for the lover of chilli!)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Dice the onion and, in a large frying pan, gently fry it until translucent. Add the lamb, and the ras-el-hanout and carry on frying gently the meat.
After 5-8 mins of cooking, drain any excess of fat and add the chopped garlic, the rice and the pine nuts. Cook for another 5 mins. If it looks a bit dry, add a bit of chicken stock. Then remove from the stove, season and add the fresh herbs (parsley and coriander) and the harissa if you like it spicy . Keep aside.
Cut you butternut squash lengthways in two and scoop the seeds out. Place the halves into a oven-proof dish and stuff them with the lamb mixture. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. Place the dish in the oven to cook for 30-40 mins, until cooked (check by poking the butternut squash with a knife blade - it should dig in with no resistance).
Serve it with a salad.
You can try this recipe with any other kind of mince meat (turkey, beef - they will work really well).
For a vegetarian version, just mix lentils and rice. You can even add a some goat cheese or feta to it.