Seasonal local food recipe No 63: Spicy roasted squash

From Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef.  Good to add to a risotto, in a bread, or just to have as a really tasty vegetable.

Serves 6

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes

1 medium/large butternut or other squash
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 small dried red chillies (or to taste)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil

Wash the squash, then cut in half. (If the skin on your squash seems very tough, it might be best to peel it.) With a large spoon, remove the seeds from the squash (try roasting these with a little touch of oil and some sea salt and have them with drinks – they’re really nice!). Cut the squash lengthways into quarters and then cut the quarters in half – you should have approximately 2.5cm thick, boat shaped wedges of squash. Put them in a bowl.

Put all the dried herbs and spices in a pestle and mortar and pound them up with the salt and pepper to make a fine powder. Once you’ve done this, add the garlic clove and pound it into the spices. Scrape out the contents into the bowl and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss the squash thoroughly in the herb and spice mixture, making sure that all the pieces are well coated.

Place the squash pieces in a line, skin side down, on a baking tray. Roast them in the oven at 200C/gas 6 for about 30 minutes, or until tender. The spicy flavour will cook into the squash and the squash will crisp slightly, the skin becoming caramelised and chewy.

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