BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH PECANS AND BLUE CHEESE

Although this started off as a Christmas-time recipe, I have found that I cook it pretty much year round: the sweet squash is tangily countered by the blue cheese and the nuts bring gorgeous crunch, though the gentler rubble of toasted pine nuts can be happily substituted.

INGREDIENTS

Serves: 6-8METRICCUPS

  • 2 kilograms butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 stalks fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 100 grams pecan nuts
  • 125 grams crumbled roquefort cheese (or other blue cheese)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/gas mark 7/425ºF.
  2. Halve the squash, leaving the skin on, and scoop out the seeds, then cut into 2.5cm / 1 inch cubes; you don’t need to be precise, just keep the pieces uniformly small.
  3. Put the squash into a roasting tin with the oil. Strip the leaves from 4 stalks of thyme, and sprinkle over the butternut squash. (If you can’t get fresh thyme, use dried.) Roast in the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until tender.
  4. Once out of the oven, remove the squash to a bowl and scatter the pecans and crumble the cheese over it, then toss everything together gently.
  5. Check seasoning and add the last of the thyme, torn into small sprigs to decorate.

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