Roasted stuffed squash with herby pistachio salsa
Make this impressive roasted stuffed squash for a vegetarian Sunday lunch. Serve a zingy pistachio salsa on the side to add freshness, texture and spice
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1butternut squash (about 750g)
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 3garlic cloves, unpeeled
- large knob of butter
- 2small onions, thinly sliced
- 2tbsp red wine vinegar
- large pinch of allspice
- 150g basmati rice
- 75g pomegranate seeds
- 150g vegetarian feta, crumbled
- 75g pistachios, finely chopped
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- ½small bunch of dill, finely chopped
- small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 1large green chilli, thinly sliced
- 1lemon, juiced
Step 1Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Get a flameproof roasting tin ready that will fit the squash snugly (ours measured 22 x 18cm). Oil the squash and season with salt, then place cut-side down in the tin with an unpeeled garlic clove or 2 in the cavity of each half. Roast for 1 hr.
Step 2Once tender, carefully lift the squash halves and garlic onto a board. Melt the butter in the tin over a low heat, add the onions and cook gently for 10 mins until soft and caramelised. Splash in the vinegar and scrape any sticky bits from the base of the dish. Squeeze the cooked garlic from the skins and stir into the onions with the allspice and rice. Season well and pour over 350ml hot water. Bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat, carefully wrap the tin in foil and cook in the oven for 25 mins with the squash placed cut-side up directly on the oven rack alongside.
Step 3Fluff up the rice with a fork and check it is cooked. If not and the tin is dry, add a splash more water, re-wrap in the foil and return to the oven for 5-10 mins. Scoop some of the soft squash out of the skins, leaving a layer of about 1cm in the skin. Mix the scooped-out squash into the rice, breaking it into smaller chunks as you mix. Add the pomegranate and feta and pack the rice mixture back into the squash halves, then put back in the tin, leaving any extra rice around the squash. Return to the oven for 10 mins.
Step 4Mix the ingredients for the salsa together in a bowl. When the squash is ready, spoon the salsa over the top, then cut into wedges to serve.