Seasonal local food recipe No 68: Sarah Raven’s stuffed squash

A recipe from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook in which you can use butternut or any winter squash.

Serves 2
Preparation/cooking: about 1½ hours

1 medium-sized squash
generous drizzle of olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds, freshly ground
3 tbsp crème fraîche
3 tbsp chopped sage or chives
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Cut the squash in half. Drizzle the cut flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin. Bake, cut side upwards and covered with foil, on a baking tray in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Prick it with a fork to check that the flesh is soft. If not, give it a few minutes more.

Take the squash out of the oven, lower the setting to 180C/gas 4 and leave squash until cool enough for you to handle.

Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, and discard, then scoop out most of the flesh with a tablespoon into a bowl and mix this with the crème fraîche and 2½ tbsp of the sage (chives are good in summer). Best to do this with a fork, or give the mixture a quick zap in a processor to get rid of any lumps of squash. Check the seasoning. Spoon the squash back into the empty skins.

Scatter the parmesan and remaining herbs over the top and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the top starts to look brown and crunchy.

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