With all this windy, cold weather, I was in the mood for some nice comfort food tonight; a tender beef stew maybe, or simply sausages and mash. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go the the butcher’s at the weekend, so I am having to rely mostly on vegeterian options this week.
I am, and forever will be, a committed carnivore, but I really enjoy a meat-free option every once in a while. Having no meat in the house usually forces me to step out of my comfort zone a little bit, and find interesting ways to cook vegetables.
This is one of my favourite meat-free dishes; it is quick enough to prepare on a weeknight after work, and it features feta which I adore. It is easy to substitute some of the ingredients depending on what you have available (parsnips, sweet potatoes or turnips work very well here too).
If you don’t fancy pumpkin seeds, try some toasted flaked almonds or cashew nuts instead.
You will need (for 2):
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
A few pinches chili flakes
1 butternut squash
2 large carrots
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
2 handfuls spinach leaves
200 g feta
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Preheat your oven to 220ºC/ fan 200ºC / gas 7.
Peel the butternut squash, cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and membrane with a teaspoon, discard. Cut the flesh into cubes (roughly 2 cm). Peel the carrots and cut into thick slices.
Peel the onion and cut into rough 1 cm cubes. Peel and crush the garlic.
In a roasting dish, mix the squash, carrot, olive oil, thyme and chili. Use your hands to mix thoroughly so the veg is well covered with the oil and flavourings. Bake for 20-30 min or until tender.
Meanwhile, wash and drain the spinach. Chop the feta.
When the vegetables are cooked, add the feta, spinach and pumpkin seeds to the dish, mix briefly, and return to the oven for 5 min.
Serve with some crusty bread.