Enjoying your traditional chunks of roasted butternut squash, but wondering if it is ever the constituent part of a main meal itself, rather than a trusty side dish? Never fear, butternut squash is, indeed, the pièce de la resistance in this yummy vegetarian dish, which is both a tasty and visual explosion. With a short preparation time, you can whip up your roasted squash with Middle Eastern spices, leave it and go off to do something else. Don't bother removing the butternut squash from its skin as this is time consuming and unnecessary (and the best bit is traditionally supposed to be next to the skin!). Baharat is a spice blend that you can purchase from Waitrose for £2.99, or you can use what's already in your cupboard by mixing up a combination of paprika, coriander and cumin instead.
This roasted squash works well as a standalone dish of its own, or could work as a side dish in smaller portions for a simple dish like chicken. The sweetness of the tender flesh of the butternut squash contrasts well with the Middle Eastern spices, providing a traditionally British favourite vegetable with Oriental flavours, and a bit of a kick. Thick beetroot and butternut squash wedges provide something flavoursome to sink your teeth into, and can be arranged attractively in a spread of purple and orange across your plate.
HOW TO MAKE ROASTED SQUASH WITH MIDDLE EASTERN SPICES
1. Heat the oven to 200C fan, gas 7. Put the squash and beetroot into a large roasting tin and coat with the olive oil, spice mix and some seasoning. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
2. Remove from the oven and top with the almonds and feta. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Serve topped with the parsley and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
- 1 large butternut squash, cut into large wedges and deseeded
- 3 raw beetroot, peeled and quartered
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2tbsp Baharat spice mix
- 100g whole skinless almonds
- 200g feta, crumbled
- ½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped
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Jane Curran is a freelance food editor, stylist, writer and consultant based in Cape Town. Former food director of TI Media & woman&home. All about food, wine (dipWSET), gardening and the Arsenal.
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