Veggie dinner last night - I like to do at least one a week. This softly spiced baked winter squash was the star of the show.
Spicy baked butternut squash
1 butternut or other winter squash
onion, garlic, shallot
the zest and juice of an orange
6 dates (sultanas would work, too)
Slice one squash - I normally wouldn't peel it, but these are the last of the autumn bounty and their skin is getting a little tough six months after harvesting. Sprinkle with a little salt and some olive oil and bake in a hot oven for about 15 minutes, until starting to be tender.
Finely chop a medium onion and some garlic, a shallot too, if you have one. Gently cook these in some olive oil until they're soft. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon, six chopped dates, a handful of pinenuts, the zest of an orange. Mix all this up and take off the heat.
Put the squash in a greased shallow baking dish, sprinkle with the onion mixture, and squeeze over the juice of the orange. You can do all this ahead. When you're ready, bake at 200C for 15-25 minutes (exact timings depend on whether the ingredients are cold or warm when you put the dish into the oven).
Chop equal quantities of parsley and mint. Sprinkle this onto the dish when it comes out of the oven.
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