Wednesday, 31 October 2012
I hated squash when I was a child. I am not sure what it was about it that I didn't like, perhaps the texture, or maybe the way my mother prepared it. Twas always boiled to death and mashed . . . B-O-R-I-N-G Sorry mum! I have learned as an adult that if you roast it either in the oven, or in a pan . . . you bring all the gorgeousness that this lovely vegetable has to offer you, to the surface! It is Boring no more. Just look at those beautifully caramelized edges . . . and that lovely colour against the spring onions!!!
Now I am venturing out into the unknown here by adding some tomatoes to the mix, but stay with me people . . . I know what I am doing!!
I've added a nice layer of greated strong cheddar cheese on top. Everything tastes better with cheese, don't you think? And bacon . . . but there's no bacon in this mix. Just cheese gilding the top of that lovely caramlized squash, pan roasted tomatoes and spring onions . . .
About half an hour later and it's ready to come out of the oven . . . just look at that gloriously gorgeous taste tempting cheese crust! I can't wait to dig in!!
The cheese has melted down into all of those lovely crevices . . . oozing beneath and covering every lucious nugget of squash . . .
I'm a greedy gus and I love the crusty edges of anything baked with cheese . . . they are my favourite bits . . .
Now we're talking!! Just look at that moist bejeweled gloriousness . . . simply waiting for me to dig my fork into it . . . I can almost taste it now . . .
This went down a real treat as a simple supper on a cold and rainy autumn day, served up with a nice crusty loaf to soak up all those gorgeous juices. Fabulous darling . . . just fabulous.
*Butternut Squash Baked with Tomatoes & Cheese*
One of my favourite autumn bakes. We love butternut squash. It may sound an unusual combination, but trust me when I say it works.
2 pounds of butternut squash
2 TBS butter
2 TBS oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a package of spring onions, sliced, including both the white and light green portions (8 to 10)
1 400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes, drained and rinsed (1 14-oz tin)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 ounces of strong cheddar cheese, grated ( 1 cup)
Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Butter a shallow 8 by 10 inch gratin dish. Set aside.
Peel the squash and discard the skin and seeds. Cut the flesh into bite sized pieces. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet until the butter begins to foam. Add the squash. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown in places. Season with some salt and black pepper and then transfer this to the prepared gratin dish.
Add the onions to the same skillet and gently cook until softened. Season as required and spoon these over top of the squash.
Dump your drained and rinsed tomatoes into the same skillet. Add the thyme and season to taste. Cook and stir until they are quite dry with no excess liquid. Scatter these over top of the onions and squash. Top all with the cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Turn the temperature up to 200*C/40)*F/ gas mark 6, and bake for a further 10 minutes, just until the cheese begins to brown. Serve immediately.