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STUFFED SPICED SQUASH WITH TOMATO AND POMEGRANATE SALSA


This fantastic main course can be made in advance and is stuffed with caramelised onion, chestnut and Cavolo Nero rice mixture. I’ve used smoked garlic to give this an extra layer of flavour, and then topped the baked stuffed squash with the zingy salsa. The rice mixture could be served with some spiced chicken, lamb or salmon skewers. Alternatively, you could add feta to the mixture before baking. If you can’t find smoked garlic, use black garlic or ordinary garlic.



INGREDIENTS - (Serves 4)

For squash

2 butternut squash - cut lengthways into halves and deseeded

2 tbsp olive oil 2 red onions - peeled and finely sliced

1 lemon 150g cooked chestnuts - sliced

1 small orange or satsuma 150g of a mixture of brown and wild rice

200g Cavolo Nero - roughly chopped 1 tsp cumin seeds

1 cinnamon stick 1 tsp ras el hanout

2 cloves of smoked garlic - finely sliced


For salsa

½ a red onion - diced 100g baby plum tomatoes - diced

75g pomegranate seeds Juice of ½ a lime

10g flat-leaf parsley or coriander - finely chopped 20ml extra virgin olive oil



METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 375c/ Gas Mark 4.

  2. Lay the butternut squash halves on a lined baking tray and bake for 30min.

  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium pan, and when hot, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick. Saute for 30 seconds.

  4. Add the rice and fry for 1 minute. Pour in 500ml of hot water and bring to the boil.

  5. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover with a lid, and simmer for about 35to 45 min or until cooked through.

  6. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a shallow frying pan over a medium heat.

  7. When hot, add the sliced red onions and gently cook for 15 minutes until caramelised.

  8. Add the sliced smoked garlic, and saute for 2 minutes.

  9. Add the chestnuts and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  10. Grate the zest of the lemon and orange into the chestnut mixture,

  11. Add the chopped Cavolo Nero and ras el hanout for 3 minutes.

  12. Squeeze both the lemon and the orange or satsuma into the rice mixture.

  13. Season well.

  14. Scoop out some of the baked squash and reserve.

  15. Fill the baked squash halves with the rice mixture.

  16. Match the squash halves, put together and tie with string.

  17. Bake for a further 15 minutes.

  18. For the salsa, mix together all the ingredients and season.

  19. Separate the cooked stuffed squash halves and top with the salsa before serving.

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