A good friend of my Mum’s recently snuck a request in through her for a veggie option at the Christmas dinner table that outdoes a nut roast. I’m hoping to churn a few out before the big day but here’s my first go, this one’s for you, Rachel!
Despite being a mere vegetable, half a butternut squash is a serious tummy-filler so if you plan to serve this up with your Christmas feast you might wanna go easy on the roasties and yorkshire puds. Appetite aside, this is a simple but out of this world combination of textures, tastes and smells. Enjoy!
1 organic butternut squash
50g dried cranberries
2 red onions, sliced
120g soft goats cheese, sliced
- Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 6 (conversions here).
- Chop the squash in half down the middle (from the top hat to the bottom i.e lengthways) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Chuck the seeds away or do something cool with them, your call.
- Score the flesh with a sharp knife quite deeply, this is gonna help it cook through and get soft, sweet ‘n delicious.
- Pop your two halves on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some salt then slide them onto the top shelf of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Note here: my oven is particularly tricky for roasting veg, it takes a long time to get it where I want it, yours may take a little less time so check with a knife to see if the flesh is getting nice and soft, if it is then you can move on to filling that baby up.
- While the squash is in the oven, put your onions in a non stick pan with a little butter and cook them very low and very slow. Keep them going for about 15-20 minutes.
- Roughly chop the pecans and throw them in a large bowl with the cranberries and goats cheese. Once the onions are cooked add them to the bowl and mix everything up.
- Once your squash has had it’s first 40 minutes or so of cooking, yank it out of the oven and fill those beautiful orange caves with the stuffing mixture. Really pack it in there, leave no nook and/or cranny unfilled.
- Pop it back in the oven and bake for a further 20 – 30 minutes until the cheese is looking golden brown and there’s some bubbling action going on.
Your track recommendation for this recipe is a new favourite Christmas song of mine, a blast from the not too distant past courtesy of The Darkness.
What’s your favourite vegetarian alternative to turkey? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading x