You know when Autumn is finally here as the veg plots are full of ripe winter squashes and the shops are stacking pumpkins high in preparation for Halloween and beyond. Personally I think carving a home grown pumpkin is such a waste, why miss out on all that delicious flavour.
I have three types of winter squashes sitting in a sunny windowsill, almost smiling at me saying pick me pick me, I'll be delicious. Tonight I could resist no more and I chose a carnival squash to have for my tea.
In my opinion, roasting winter squash truly brings out their sweet flavour, and as an added bonus they are extremely good for you too. High in vitamin A and vitamin C, rich in carotenoid antioxidants and they also provide complex-B vitamins, which are B1, B3, B6, pantothenic acid and folate. So all in all a pretty good vegetable to have on your dinner plate!
1 Carnival Squash
1 Clove of garlic
1 Yellow pepper
½ Tsp Chilli flakes
1 Tsp Ras el hanout200g Chestnut mushrooms
½ Small Aubergine
1 Bunch Coriander
Pre- heat the oven to 180°C. While the oven is heating up prepare the squash. Cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Separate the seeds from the pulp, you can roast them and use as a delicious snack. When the oven is ready place the squash cut side up on a roasting tray and bake for 40 minutes or until the flesh is soft.
While the squash is roasting, peel the carrot, onion and garlic and chop into chunks along with the yellow pepper. Add to a food processor and process until chopped finely. Fry in a little olive oil with the chilli flakes and Ras el hanout until the onion is translucent and the carrot is soft. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the mushrooms and aubergine to the food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to the heated frying pan and cook until the mushrooms have browned and the aubergine is cooked through then transfer to the bowl.
In a separate bowl add the three tablespoons of couscous and just enough hot water to cover. Leave for 5 minutes before you break up the grains with a fork. Meanwhile finely shred the coriander.
Add the couscous and coriander to the bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
Remove the carnival squash from the oven and spoon the mixture into the hollow squash and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes to heat through.
Serve at once.