Roasted Butternut Squash Filled with Fresh Pesto and Quinoa
First I would like to say thank you so much to Niki at The Jolly Beetroot for nominating me for the Liebster Award! It is so exciting and finding out was the best start to my weekend. The other really exciting thing this weekend was that today I went over to a friends apartment to use his oven! I roasted vegetables for my lunches this week, I made my first ever batch of homemade granola (which I will be sharing the recipe for later this week) and we had this baked squash for lunch followed by a warming apple crumble. It was the perfect comfort food for a cold, dark Sunday afternoon. This recipe is for my big sis who is always telling to post more savoury recipes and main courses - she doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. I am pretty sure if she had been there at lunchtime she would have told me she loved it, but it would be better with some goats cheese melted on top. If you aren't avoiding dairy, give it a try - she is a seriously awesome cook so I would fully trust her judgement!
Not only is butternut squash really delicious, it is also packed full of vitamins to support both your nervous and immune systems. It contains a high level of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, and supplies your body with loads of dietary fibre. It tastes so so good roasted with olive oil, salt and lots of garlic, that when I had to chance to use an oven for the day it was an obvious decision. I think the Sunday cooking is going to have to become a bit of a weekly event - I get the oven, a bigger kitchen than mine, and a fun lunch with my friends! Plus, now that December has started it really has got cold, and there is no greater comfort food than mixed roasted veg.
I could only get one butternut squash at the market so I got a few of the little round courgettes and stuffed them too. It worked just as well, they were yum, but you don't need to pre-roast them before stuffing then like you do with the squash.
1 butternut squash
3 round courgettes
1 cup of uncooked quinoa
1 bunch of basil
1 bunch of coriander
1 cup of hazelnuts
3 cloves of garlic
De-seed the squash, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast at 180 degrees until tender (about 30 mins). While that cooks, boil some water and cook the quinoa. Put all the herbs, hazelnuts and 2 cloves of garlic into a blender and mix, slowly adding olive oil, until you reach your desired consistency. I would also add some salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Next, chop the mushrooms and leftover garlic and fry them in a little olive oil for a few minutes. You could also fry the leeks at this point, but I boiled mine for a few minutes. When they are cooked, mix them with the mushrooms, quinoa and pesto.
Scoop the middles out of the courgettes and stuff them with the quinoa mix. Remove the squash from the oven, fill the two halves with quinoa, and then bake the squash, courgettes and cherry tomatoes for another 10-15 minutes before serving.