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Whole roasted buttercup squash

Looking for a warming, Wintery vegetarian roast idea? Whole roasted buttercup squash is the way to go!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Snacks and Sides
Servings 4
Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Ingredients
  

  • 2 buttercup squash or other small pumpkin variety, roughly 900g-1kg each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 ginger (thumb-sized piece) peeled and finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds crushed
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds crushed
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 cups chicken stock*
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons liquid honey
  • cup dried apricots finely chopped
  • 1 can brown lentils rinsed and drained well

To serve

  • ¾ cup plain hummus*
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds lightly toasted
  • ½ cup coriander roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • 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

Notes

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.