Food of the Month: Butternut Squash

Saturday 1 March 2014 by

It’s time for my March Favourite Food of the Month. Root vegetables are just beginning to swing out of season with the onset of Spring, but March is that lovely middle month where you can have delicious salads and warming soups. One root veg that goes perfectly with both is the butternut squash.

I often hear the butternut squash dismissed because it’s such a simple veg, but it’s fantastically versatile. This is in-season until about mid-March when it gets a bit too warm, and then is back again in September, just in time for those cold and dark nights.

The simplest way to eat this nutty, sweet vegetable is to roast it. Cut it in to chunks and roast it in much the same way you would with parsnips, potatoes or celeriac. But it fits perfectly with all sorts of soups (Lorraine Pascale’s roasted butternut squash soup with chili ginger is to die for), tagines, casseroles, curries, pies and risottos, and you can even add it to pasta.

As March is super-healthy eating month (to purge the Christmas-January-but-ended-up-continuing-into-February junk food eating marathon), I’ve just made the butternut squash the key ingredient in this roasted vegetable salad…

Roasted vegetable salad – serves 1

You will need:

  • Very sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Roasting tray

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Half a butternut squash
  • A mix of bell peppers (I chose half a red and half a yellow)
  • A handful of mushrooms
  • Half a courgette
  • 100g spinach
  • Handful of salad leaves (I picked up a babyleaf salad mix)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts

How to do it:

Butternut squash, Courgette, Red pepper, Yellow pepper, Roasting

Cut the butternut squash in half (the sharp knife will come in handy here, as a ripe butternut squash has a particularly tough rind) and scoop out the seeds.

Cut the butternut squash, courgette, peppers and mushrooms in to chunks, and add all of them apart from the mushrooms to the roasting tray and drizzle with oil and season generously.

Butternut squash, Mushrooms, Yellow pepper, Red pepper, Courgette

In a hot oven (180° to 190°C), roast your vegetables until the squash is almost cooked through (it behaves in much the same way as a potato) and the courgette is beginning to brown on the edges. Add the mushrooms for the final couple of minutes.

Once the butternut squash is cooked through, serve on a plate of spinach and salad leaves. Sprinkle with pine nuts, and a tiny bit of olive oil. Serve warm!

Butternut squash, salad, Red pepper, Yellow pepper, Courgette, Mushroom, Pine nuts, Spinach, Babyleaf

For a variety, try adding the pine nuts with the mushrooms, just to toast them through.

Do you love butternut squash? What’s your favourite way to serve it?

Check out more butternut squash inspiration on the Pinterest board!

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