WHEN November gets into its stride, it's time to start cooking with the colourful and versatile butternut squash.
This week, I'm giving you a recipe for a salad, a tasty risotto and an unusual side dish using this bright, flavourful ingredient.
Roasted butternut squash and
>1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
>2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, separated
>Freshly ground black pepper
>400ml vegetable broth
>2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
>1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
>100g chopped walnuts
>2 bags mixed lettuce greens
>Preheat the oven to 200°C.
>Toss the butternut squash with about 1 tbsp of olive oil.
>Transfer to a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
>Roast the squash for about 45-50 minutes.
>When the squash is just about done, combine the vegetable broth and quinoa in a separate saucepan over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer for five minutes. Set aside.
>While the quinoa rests, whisk together the remaining tbsp of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar to make a quick dressing. Once the quinoa is ready, pour the dressing over it.
>Add the squash, red onion and walnuts and toss to evenly mix the ingredients.
>Add in the lettuce greens and stir.
>Serve immediately, while the salad is still warm.
Butternut squash over risotto
>1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed into 1-inch pieces
>4 tbsp olive oil, separated
>2 litres (or more) chicken stock -- vegetarians can use vegetable broth
>4 cloves garlic, minced
>2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into half-inch pieces
>1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
>400g arborio rice
>1 large handful of chopped fresh basil
>150g freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus additional for serving)
>Preheat oven to 200°C
>Toss squash with half of the olive oil.
>Then roast butternut squash on a baking sheet with a rim for 25 minutes until it is tender.
>In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a medium heat.
>In another large saucepan, heat remaining oil over a medium heat, sauté garlic and leeks until tender but not browned. Set aside.
>Add thyme and stir for one minute. Add rice and stir for a further minute
>Add ladle of stock and simmer until absorbed, stirring consistently for about three minutes per ladle.
>Add remaining stock one ladle at a time until all absorbed. This will take about 20 minutes, working continuously.
>Remove from heat, stir in garlic, leeks, basil and Parmesan cheese.
>Serve, topped with butternut squash.
>Top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Butternut squash marshmallow bake
>3 (5-7lb) butternut squash, peeled, cubed and deseeded
>225g Philadelphia cream cheese, cubed
>75g brown sugar
>1 tsp ground red cayenne pepper
>2 large handfuls mini marshmallows
>Preheat over to 200°C
>Place squash in a glass baking dish with water and bake for 45 minutes.
>Place squash into a large glass bowl, add cream cheese, sugar and pepper. Mash well.
>Spread squash into a baking dish, sprinkle with marshmallows, turn on the grill and toast marshmallows for 5-7 minutes until brown and beginning to melt.