Looking for a warming, Wintery vegetarian roast idea? Whole roasted buttercup squash is the way to go!
This sweet, spicy goodness is packed with lentils for protein and fibre. You could also serve this as a side dish with roast meat, like a leg of roast lamb with a cumin, coriander seed rub. Buttercup squash are the perfect size for this dish, with each one serving two people as a main. Other pumpkin varieties work too though, such a buttercup. Crown pumpkins may be too large unless you can find one around 900g – 1kg, or cook it for much longer.
Make this dish vegan by using vegetable stock instead of chicken, and maple syrup instead of honey.
This recipe is from the August/November issue of NADIA magazine. For more roast recipes, check out this Cider-roasted pork belly with apples and fennel, and the perfect cold weather side dish, Brussels sprout winter slaw.
- buttercup squash 2 (or other small pumpkin variety, roughly 900g-1kg each)
- olive oil 2 tablespoons
- onions 2, diced
- garlic 3 cloves, finely chopped
- ginger 1 thumb-sized piece, peeled and finely grated
- cumin seeds 2 teaspoons, crushed
- coriander seeds 2 teaspoons, crushed
- chilli flakes ½ teaspoon
- chicken stock* 2 cups
- crushed tomatoes 1 can
- liquid honey 2 teaspoons
- dried apricots ⅓ cup, finely chopped
- brown lentils 1 can, rinsed and drained well
- plain hummus* ¾ cup
- pumpkin seeds 2 tablespoons, lightly toasted
- coriander ½ cup, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Place buttercup squash on a lined baking tray and bake for 45 minutes.
- While squash is baking, heat olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Cook onion with a pinch of salt for about 8 minutes or until lightly golden. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a further 2 minutes until fragrant. Stir regularly to ensure spices do not stick to the pan. Add stock, tomatoes, honey and apricots and cook for 8 minutes. Add drained lentils and cook for a further 10 minutes or until most of the moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Remove squash from oven but leave oven on. Allow squash to cool slightly then, using a sharp knife, carefully slice off each top to form lids.
- Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and soft membrane inside the squash. Scrape out the majority of the flesh (leaving about 1cm of flesh all around the inside), place in a bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Take ½ cup of mashed squash and set aside in a small bowl to be used for the hummus later.
- Add the rest of the mashed squash to the lentil mixture and stir to combine. Spoon this mixture into the squash shells (you may have a bit of mixture left over). Place the lids back on top and return to the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through.
- Add hummus to the bowl of reserved mashed squash and stir to combine. Sprinkle over toasted pumpkin seeds.
- To serve, bring the squash to the table and let your guests help themselves to a big scoop of pumpkin and lentils. Dollop with some pumpkin hummus and sprinkle with coriander. Serve with rice or couscous if you would like to make the meal spread further.
*Check label if eating gluten-free