For this gratin, a white sauce is required. Making a white sauce can sometimes be slightly intimidating – but have no fear. When making the sauce, keep whisking as you add milk slowly and allow the white sauce to cook and thicken slightly between milk additions. You want it to end up like thick cream that does not dollop, but still runs smoothly. It also benefits from a healthy dose of seasoning with both salt and pepper.
Ingredients: 1 Leek, 250g butternut squash, 100g cauliflower, sprig of thyme, 1 stem of rosemary, 50g rocket.
Larder: 25g butter, 2 heaped tbsp flour, 450ml milk, 75g cheddar cheese, 40g breadcrumbs (1 piece of bread), juice and zest of 1 lemon.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Slice the leek in half lengthways and then slice the lengths into chunks. Peel and slice the squash into small chunks. Break the cauliflower into small florets. Place all together in a small casserole dish or tin. Drizzle with oil and season. Place in the oven to roast.
- Meanwhile, make a white sauce: Melt approx 25g butter and when it begins to foam, add 2 tbsp flour and stir into a paste. Cook over a low heat for a minute or so and then add about 100ml of milk, stirring constantly. Keep stirring and adding milk slowly so that it thickens to the consistency of double cream. If it becomes too thick, add a dash more milk. Stir in grated cheese and the thyme leaves.
- While the white sauce is thickening, grate a slice of bread using a fine grater to make rough breadcrumbs. Heat a tbsp oil in a small frying pan, add the rosemary leaves and grate in the zest of a lemon and fry for about 30 seconds. Then add the breadcrumbs and fry for a further 30 to 60 seconds until browned or slightly crispy. Remove the veg from the oven, pour over the white sauce and sprinkle with the lemon, rosemary breadcrumbs and return to the oven.
- Remove when bubbling and crispy on top. Serve with rocket and a squeeze of lemon.
‘Tis the season for forced rhubarb! Normally tucked into sweet desserts, we’ve made a slightly unusual but utterly tasty supper of rhubarb and butternut squash based lentils which will make your taste buds tingle!
Ingredients: clove of garlic, 2 shallots, 200g butternut squash, 1-2 sticks of forced rhubarb, handful of spinach, small bunch of parsley.
Larder: 150g rice, 100g yellow/red lentils, 1-2 tsp honey, 1 tin tomatoes, 350ml water (optional ½-1 tsp fennel seeds).
- Chop the shallots and dice a garlic clove. Peel and chop the squash into small 1-2cm chunks.
- Sauté shallots, garlic, squash and optional fennel seeds for 5 minutes in a large sauté pan or saucepan.
- Slice the rhubarb into about 1cm slices & add to the pan along with 2-3 tsp honey, allowing the honey to melt into the pan.
- Stir in the lentils and then add the tin of tomatoes and 350ml water. Add a pinch of salt and simmer for 25 mins or until lentils and squash are soft. Add more water if needed.
- Start cooking the rice in a saucepan according to packet instructions.
- Just before serving, chop spinach and parsley add to the lentils and cook until spinach wilts.
- Serve the rhubarb lentils with rice.
A comforting and easy January supper, this dish is perfect on a busy night as you can chop it all up, pop it in the oven and come back to it for the finishing touches before tucking in.
Ingredients: 200g Butternut squash, 1 clove of garlic, 50g button mushrooms, 40g oyster mushrooms, small sprig of thyme, 70g kale.
From the larder: 175g pasta, 25g Parmesan, 25g breadcrumbs, 3 tbsp crème fraîche and olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and bring a pan of water to the boil for the pasta.
- Chop the squash into small chunks, halve large mushrooms and crush a garlic clove.
- Place all in a roasting tin with thyme leaves, salt, pepper and a drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
- Add chopped kale, after about 10-12 minutes, when you start to smell the roasting mushrooms.
- At this point start cooking the pasta.
- During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, sprinkle breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan over roasting veggies and cook until golden and crispy.
- Drain pasta and remove the veg from the oven, mix altogether with the crème fraîche.
- Serve immediately with a little Parmesan grated on top.
This week, whether you are American or not, celebrating Thanksgiving or not, there’s always time and place for a daal -lop of thankfulness. So, while cooking up a butternut squash flavoured feast and watching it simmer, take a moment or two to ponder something you’re thankful for. We’re pretty sure it’s been proven to be good for you!
Ingredients: 2 banana shallots, 2 cloves garlic, 12g ginger, 10g turmeric, 1-2 stems of fresh curry leaves, roughly 200g butternut squash, large handful of spinach, 60g mushrooms, small sprig of coriander.
From the larder: 75g rice, 120g red lentils, oil (coconut or other), 1 stock cube, 1tsp cumin powder (optional: 1tsp mustard seeds).
- Chop shallots and coriander stems, peel and mince 1 garlic clove, ginger and turmeric. Sauté the shallots and garlic in oil for 3 minutes until soft and then add the lentils, turmeric, ginger, whole curry leaves, coriander stems, cumin and optional mustard seeds. Sauté for a minute.
- Cover with 2cm of water (approx. 600ml) and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer.
- Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1-2cm chunks and add to the lentils. Cook for 25-30 mins until lentils are soft and butternut squash is tender. Stir regularly and add more water as the lentils and squash cook and absorb the water. The daal should end up like a very thick soup.
- While the daal is cooking, cook the rice according to packet instructions.
- Slice the mushrooms and chop the second clove of garlic. In another frying pan, fry both in a knob of butter until soft and juicy.
- When lentils are ready, stir in the spinach and cook for 1 min to wilt. Season and serve on a bed of rice with mushrooms and chopped coriander leaves popped on top.
Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, 20g galangal, 12g ginger, 1 green chilli, 1 lemon grass, 250g butternut squash, 90g cavolo nero, 2 shallots, small bunch of coriander.
Larder: 150g rice, 400ml tin coconut milk, oil, ½ stock cube, oil (optional extras: a small handful of cashews, squeeze of lime, chicken pieces).
- Make a quick curry paste: peel and mince 2 garlic cloves, ginger and galangal, deseed and finely slice the chilli. Remove the tough outer layer of the lemongrass and finely slice it. Mix it all together to make a curry paste, and if you like, use a pestle and mortar.
- Start cooking the rice according to packet instructions.
- Heat a glug of oil to a wok or sauté pan. Add the curry paste ingredients and fry on a low heat for about 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the shallots and butternut squash in 1cm chunks. Add to the frying pan or wok and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes until shallots are translucent. If using, add chicken pieces and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, ¼ tin of water, ½ stock cube and a pinch of salt, simmer for 15-20 minutes until butternut squash is soft.
- About 10 minutes before serving, chop the cavolo nero, add to the curry and cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve the curry with rice and torn coriander leaves and if you want, a squeeze of lime on top and a handful of cashews.
Ingredients: 3-4 shallots, 2 garlic cloves, 1-2 sticks of celery , 200g butternut squash, 4-5 stems of sage, handful of rocket.
Larder: 2 knobs of butter (roughly 15g each), 170g Arborio rice, 600-700ml stock, 30g Parmesan.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1cm chunks, place in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season and roast for 25 minutes while you make the risotto.
- Finely slice the shallots, a garlic clove and the celery and sauté for 5 minutes in a knob of butter. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute until rice looks slightly translucent.
- Prepare the stock; gradually add to the rice a ladle at a time. Allow stock to absorb before adding the each ladle.
- Add ladle by ladle until the risotto is creamy, soft and al denté. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
- When risotto is ready and squash cooked, add the grated Parmesan and squash to the risotto. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes with the lid on.
- Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat another knob of butter until gently bubbling. Fry the sage leaves (removed from stem) until crisp, about 1-2 minutes. You will be left with a lovely browned sage butter, which if you like, you can pour over the risotto!
- Serve the risotto with crispy sage crumbled in and rocket as a side.