Roasted squash with goat's cheese and spiced onions
Butternut squash is the perfect vegetarian replacement for meat in the traditional Christmas lunch; the flesh is wonderfully moist and it has a sweet buttery flavour and a firm satisfying texture. Butternuts are extremely nutritious: they are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as high in fibre and low in calories, the perfect excuse to allow yourself a second helping of Christmas pudding!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 2 butternut squash
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 courgette, chopped into small chunks
- 1 red pepper, chopped into small chunks
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 200g cherry tomatoes
- 50g hazelnuts, chopped
- 100g goats cheese
- 1 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp crushed dried chilli flakes
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 5.
Cut each squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then cut criss-cross patterns over the flesh of each half.
Mix together the garlic, thyme and 2 tbsp of olive oil, and brush the mixture over the squash flesh. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the flesh is tender.
Place the courgette, red pepper and shallots in a roasting tin and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season and roast for about 20-25 minutes until tender and starting to brown at the edges. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.
Mix together the hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, parsley and parmesan. Divide the roasted vegetables and goat's cheese between the squash halves and place on top of each, scatter with the breadcrumb mix, and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
For the spiced onions: melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the sliced onions and cook until golden. Stir in the cumin seeds and crushed chilli, and continue cooking until the onions are deep gold in colour and spicily fragrant.
Serve with mashed potato and green beans or mange tout.