“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.”– Thomas Keller
Butternut squash is one of the most common varieties of winter squash. It also offers a good supply of calcium, vitamin A, potassium, and fibre.
Contrary to the name, Squashes are grown as annuals in Europe, and are classified as either summer or winter squash. The seeds of both are sown in late spring.
Butternut squash is a type of winter squash, usually harvested from September onwards, and brought indoors to mature before the first frosts arrive. Winter squash such as butternuts have thick, tough exterior and firm flesh that make it excellent for storing over several months, this means it can be eaten during the winter season, hence winter squash.
Butternuts can be cooked in many different ways. You could peel and cube them, then cook by stewing or steaming, or slice and bake them. They are often teamed with spices such as ginger and cinnamon, and their nutty flavour also combines well with a touch of sweetness in the form of brown sugar or agave syrup. In the following recipe, they are boiled until tender and stuffed with a crunchy rice mixture before being baked.
PREPARATION TIME: 55 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 25 MINUTES
PRE-HEAT OVEN TO: 160°C / 325°F / GAS MARK 3
INGREDIENTS FOR FOUR TO SIX
- 2-3 butternuts (1.2 kg)
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
- 30g vegan butter
- 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1 carrot, coarsely grated
- 1 stick celery, thinly sliced
- 200ml cooked brown rice
- 50g mixed nuts, chopped
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) soy sauce
- 10ml (2 teaspoons) agave syrup
For the topping:
Vegan butter, Cinnamon
- Wash and halve the butternut length ways. Scoop out the seeds and boil the butternuts (cut side down) in salted water for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
- Take care that they do not break. If the butternuts are large, you will have to use two saucepans.
- While they are boiling, prepare the stuffing. Heat the oil and vegan butter in a frying pan, add the onion, carrot, celery, rice and nuts, and toss over a medium heat until tender-crisp. Spoon the rice mixture into a bowl.
- Carefully remove the flesh from the cooked butternuts, leaving a firm shell.
- Mix the pulp thoroughly with the rice mixture, season with the soy sauce and add the Agave syrup.
- Place the shells in a buttered oven-proof dish and fill with the stuffing. Dot with vegan butter and sprinkle with cinnamon, then bake them in the oven for 25 minutes.
It is as easy as that and butternut is easy to grow, see my blog on growing butternut squash!
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