Chilly autumn evenings were just made for this healthy, autumnal butternut squash with rustic beans and chorizo. Cosy up and try it.
Now Hallowe’en is over and the sweets have been eaten (some of them even by the kids), can we please give the squash family the attention it deserves?
There’s nothing like watching your kids inexpertly skidding sharp knives across the surface of a pumpkin to make you want to lock yourself in the kitchen and cook something comforting.
Especially if those kids – like mine – then start wailing that their creation looks nothing like the overly ambitious Pinterest image they were trying to copy.
“Darling, it’s lovely. It’s such a terrifying demon! Oh, it’s not a demon? It’s meant to be an exact replica of the face of Michaelangelo’s David, rendered in pumpkin form? Never mind…”
I made soup from the chunky remains of last month’s pumpkin-based fear-fest but it got me thinking about squashes in general and how they deserve so much more than an annual carve up with a tea light shoved in.
Which is where this easy peasy autumnal dish comes in. It’s really not much harder than throwing together a jacket potato and beans but you’ll feel like you’ve made a proper treat meal.
Incidentally, potato clocks in at 77 calories per 100g, compared to butternut squash’s 45 calories per 100g. The squash also packs a huge punch of vitamin A too, which is good for the immune system and eyesight.
Anyway, back to the recipe and the skiving in the kitchen. Once you’ve prepped the butternut squash, it will need an hour in the oven to soften into the warming and fragrant little marvel that makes it so delicious.
This is the perfect opportunity to put your feet up. If anyone comes into the kitchen, jump up quickly and pretend you’re really busy. Frying the chorizo and warming the beans takes less than ten minutes but it’s so impressive, they’ll never know you weren’t slaving the whole time. Definitely NOT a horror story.
Butternut squash with rustic beans and chorizo
Serves 2 • Ready in 1 hour
1 × 500g (1lb 2oz) butternut squash (180 cals)
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (54 cals)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (6 cals)
20g (¾oz) chorizo, diced (58 cals)
2 tbsp tomato purée (paste) (61 cals)
1 × 400g (14oz) can mixed bean salad, rinsed and drained (204 cals)
• Preheat the oven to 210°C/fan 190°C/410°F/Gas mark 6½.
• Cut the squash in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Using a sharp knife, score the squash flesh deeply at about 1cm (½in) intervals in two directions, making checks or diamonds. The grooves have to reach nearly to the skin or else the squash may not cook through completely. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to each half and spread over the whole surface with the back of a spoon. Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until cooked.
• Meanwhile, gently heat a small frying pan (skillet), add the garlic and chorizo and fry for 1–2 minutes until both are sizzling and delicious aromas fill the room. Stir in the tomato purée (paste), then add 50ml (scant ¼ cup) water and the beans and stir thoroughly. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for 4–5 minutes. If it starts to look dry then just add a little more water.
• Serve the beans piled high on the roasted butternut squash.
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