Kipper insisted that we bought a butternut squash last time we saw one in the supermarket. I’m not sure what she wanted to do with it, and she mostly seemed to forget about it when we got it home. Although intermittently she remembered (usually when we opened the fridge and she spotted it in there) and then she hopped around, telling me that, “you mustn’t squash a butternut squash!” which is apparently hilarious.
She also corrects me every time I refer to it simply as a squash – “It’s a butternut squash Mummy.” She may have a point. Important to differentiate it from a turban squash, which we learned not so long ago are more decorative than edible. I won’t make that mistake again. Bleurgh.
In any case, a few days passed once we’d bought it, before I got around to doing anything with it. I’d been mulling over a recipe to use the butternut squash all day. However, my idea had couscous in it, and further investigation of our cupboards revealed only about half a portion of couscous. (Note to self: buy more couscous.) Plan B – a rich and fruity brown rice ‘pilaf’ to accompany the sweet and fragrant roasted butternut squash. This might even be better than my original idea. Must be divine intervention.
I had planned to add a drained tin of chickpeas to the butternut squash for the last 10-15 minutes of roasting, but once the squash was prepared, it looked like an awful lot of food for the three of us, as indeed it turned out to be. If you have a smaller squash, or a larger family, you might like to try it with the chickpeas.
DH and I both thought that the rice was the best bit of this dish, but Kipper stuck to her initial enthusiasm for the butternut squash and ate a huge pile of it, and only about two teaspoons of the rice. This amount served two adults and a small person, with a small portion left over for a quick lunch the next day. Perfect.
- 1 medium-large butternut squash
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 0.25 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 150g brown rice
- 2 tsp stock powder (or a stock cube)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tsbp olive oil
- 35g sultanas or raisins
- 15g pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Peel the squash and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into chunky wedges.
- Mix with the oil, mixed spice, cumin seeds and smoked paprika and put into a baking dish. Bake at 200C for 45-60 minutes, until soft and browning at the edges.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil (approx. 1.5 litres). Add the stock powder and rice, and simmer, partly covered for 25-35 minutes, until the rice is cooked.
- Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onion. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a low-medium heat. Cook the onion until softened and browning - around 7-10 minutes.
- Add the pine nuts to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes until they are golden. Remove from the heat, and stir in the raisins. Add 2-3 spoonfuls of the rice-cooking liquid. Stir and set aside.
- When the brown rice is cooked, drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Return the onion/pine nut/raising mixture to a low heat, and add the cooked rice. Stir well. If the rice seems a little dry, add some of the cooking liquid.
- Serve the rice with the roasted squash. Yum!