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Nothing says autumn quite like the arrival of butternut squash. This recipe really couldn’t be easier, and is just right for seeing off the chills as the nights start to draw in. You can easily adjust the quantities in this recipe to feed any number of people so this makes great party food. The simplest accompaniment would be some fresh crusty bread to mop up all those lovely cheesy juices, or a simple salad to make you feel really virtuous.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Ingredients to serve 2 (or 1 very hungry person):
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons vermouth or dry white wine
- 1 dessert spoon cornflour
- 2 dessert spoons grated parmesan (or other hard cheese of your choice)
- 2 dessert spoons crème fraiche
- Olive oil (Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)
- Crusty bread to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200 C, 400 F, or gas mark 6. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Now, using a sharp knife, score the fleshy part in a criss-cross pattern so that the trunk is covered in diamonds each approx 1 inch across.
- Now drizzle the squash with olive oil (or garlic olive oil if you have any) and season with salt and pepper – remember you won’t need much salt as you are adding cheese later. Put them on a baking tray and pop them uncovered into the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, you can make the cheese filling. Blend the vermouth or wine with the cornflour in a small bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix into a paste. The quantities given above are approximate ones – if the mixture seems a little too thick or too runny then just adjust them slightly.
- Remove the squash from the oven and carefully divide the cheese mixture between the two cavities. You may find you need to stabilize the squash by placing a scrunched up ball of kitchen foil under the thin end to prevent the filling escaping. Put them back into the oven; the time you allow will depend on the size of the squash, but they will probably need another 35 minutes or so. Test them every so often by sticking a knife into the trunk – when it feels soft, they are done! Serve them straight away while the squash are hot and the cheese is runny.
As suggested above, this recipe is best served with anything you can dip into the cheese – crusty bread, crudites or toast fingers are all ideal. Children may also enjoy the baking, they may dip fishfingers or chicken goujons.
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