Our kitchen garden cook has some simple and delicious recipes for butternut squash this autumn
Melanie says “Of all the vegetables I grow in the kitchen garden, butternut squash is the most satisfying. I sow the tiny seeds in my greenhouse, then watch delightedly as they grow into their large, solid form. It’s almost with sadness that I cut them from the vines—but then I remind myself of how delicious they are”
Chicken and butternut squash laksa with soba noodles (serves 4)
Ingredients for the curry paste
1 red onion
1 stalk lemongrass
2 red chillies
2tspn peanut butter
3 cloves garlic
2cm cube of ginger
30ml tomato purée
2tbspn fish sauce
Juice and zest of 1 lime
4 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled,
deseeded and cut into chunks
400ml light coconut milk
500ml chicken stock
300g soba noodles (semi-whole wheat are more palatable than full buckwheat)
A handful fresh coriander
Blitz the curry-paste ingredients in a blender until you have a smooth paste.
Heat a tablespoon of neutral-tasting oil in a wok, then fry the chicken pieces in it until gently browned. Set them aside, then fry the onion until translucent, but not browned. Return the chicken to the wok and add the curry paste. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, then add the butternut squash chunks and pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until the squash is tender.
Cook the soba noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water for 5–7 minutes, then rinse under cold running water.
To serve, divide the noodles between four soup bowls, then ladle the fragrant curry over them. Top with the crushed peanuts, fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice.
Chilli-roasted butternut squash with pine nuts and feta
Preheat your oven to 180˚C /350˚F/gas mark 4. Cut a butternut squash into chunks and place in a roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with freshly chopped red chillies and seasoning. Roast for about 35 minutes. Just before the squash is cooked through, gently toast pine nuts in a frying pan. When the squash is ready, scatter over the pine nuts, 150g chopped feta and a handful of freshly chopped herbs. Serve with salad.
Peel, deseed and chop a butternut squash and place it in a roasting dish with a chopped red onion. Season, drizzle over olive oil and roast in a medium oven for 30 minutes, then purée with a stick blender. Set aside to cool. Tip 500g flour onto a work surface and make a well in it, then pour 5 beaten eggs into the middle. Knead until you have a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll the dough out very thinly, then use a biscuit-cutter to mark (but not fully cut) rounds from half of it. Place a spoonful of filling in the centre of each round, brush the edges with water and cover them with the second half of the pasta sheet. Use the biscuit cutter to cut the rounds out, then press the edges together lightly to seal. Lower carefully into boiling water for a few minutes to cook, then serve with melted butter, fried sage leaves and grated Parmesan.
More recipes with butternut squash:
Pumpkin and butternut squash soup
The best of autumn’s bounty, the colourful pumpkin and butternut squash. Their delicious rich flesh makes a fantastic soup starter or a warm winter lunch or supper with a chunk of bread and a hunk of cheese. Brilliant out of a flask at Halloween parties and most children love its sweet flavour. If you’re not in rush, cut the vegetables in half and roast in a hot oven for 20 minutes, scoop out the flesh and add to the rest of the ingredients in the liquidizer.
1 small pumpkin (skinned and cubed)
1 small butternut squash (skinned and cubed)
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
A bunch of fresh sage
900ml (1 ½ pint) stock
Sea salt and black pepper
Plain yogurt or cream
Sweat the pumpkin and potato in olive oil in a deep edged pan for 5 minutes. Add most of the stock and a few sage leaves and cover, simmer until the vegetables are soft. Liquidize until smooth, adding more stock if necessary and gently reheat when required. Season and sprinkle over a few crushed, fried sage leaves or a swirl of natural yogurt or cream.
Squash, spinach and taleggio cheese risotto
Taleggio cheese originates from Italy and has a thin crust and semi-soft consistency. Despite it’s pungent smell it is relatively mild in taste. If you’re unable to get your hands on some you can easily substitue it for some fontina, which has similar melting qualities, or goats cheese, although this will lack taleggio’s tangy flavour.
1 large butternut squash
1 large white onion, finely sliced
300 grams risotto rice
1 generous glass white wine
500ml chicken stock
260 grams raw spinach
200 grams taleggio cheese, cut into thin slices
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4).
Peel, de-seed and cut the butternut squash in 1cm cubes. Toss in a glug of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the vegetable chars slightly at the edges and is soft.
In a flat bottomed, wide pan melt a knob of butter and sweat the onion, over a low to medium heat, until it is soft but not coloured.
As the onion is cooking heat up the chicken stock in a separate saucepan. Alternatively dissolve a stock cube in 450ml of boiling water and leave to one side.
Add the risotto rice to the soft onions and stir, ensuring every grain has been coated in butter. Keep stiring until the outer shells of the rice begins to turn translucent; add in more butter if necessary.
Pour in the white wine, stir to combine and let it slowly bubble until the liquid has almost entirely evaporated.
Gradually add the hot stock to your rice mixture, one ladleful at a time. Wait until each liquid addition has been absorbed by the rice, stirring continuously. For al dente risotto the process will take around 20 minutes or, if you prefer the grains to be soft all the way through, continue adding liquid and stirring for a further five minutes.
Before adding in the remaining ingredients ensure that the rice has a small amount of liquid left to absorb, to stop it drying out. Remove from the heat and add in the spinach leaves, gently folding them in. Repeat with the squash. Finally, lay your slices of taleggio on the top and cover the pan with a lid. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes and allow the heat from the pan to wilt the spinach and melt the cheese.
Season to taste and serve.
Read more at http://www.countrylife.co.uk/food-drink/squash-spinach-and-taleggio-cheese-risotto-78593#LRhD6sYHm543v4Bd.99