Butternut is not a nut butter. Nor is it dairy. If you think butternut is a silly name, it comes from the squash family. Who comes up with these titles?
The cruciferous family has it worse; it sounds like a cross between crucifying and sulphurous. Raspberries are very rude. And chillies are actually hot. Is it any wonder they're still looking for a spokesperson?
I've been drinking up Instagram during office hours (what New Year resolution? Who are you, my mom?) If employed correctly, Instagram can be that spokesperson. Hear me out. Browsing through the Instagram accounts of some of the world's top nutritional chefs - DagmarsKitchen, KatieJSanderson, TheFirstMess, Ditsen, TheGhostOnMyBack - can feel like a tasteful marketing campaign to Eat More Veg. My Instagram account is like a personal trainer, cheering me on as I decide what to cook for my family's dinner. I get to spy on what these amazingly talented chefs feed their families at home. The message is clear and consistent - count nutrients, not calories. Imagine someone dancing this message into your head several times a day? That's what I call positive marketing. See you there?
Makes 2 mains, or 5 starters.
I totally dig one-tray dinners. Less washing up to do, especially when everyone licks their plates pretty.
This recipe is a household favourite, and often gets a makeover - pecans instead of walnuts, pomegranate seeds instead of olives, pumpkin in place of butternut, and curry powder instead of garam masala. Feel the goodness canter through your veins.
You will need:
Half a butternut squash, about 400g (14oz)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon garam masala spice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A palmful of walnuts
A few stems of curly kale, leaves only
200g feta or blue cheese
A palmful of good black olives
Wedge of lemon
Fire up your oven to 210°C, 410°F, Gas 6. Prep will take five minutes, so tune into your favourite radio station and swing those hips, mamasita. I'm convinced that good humour and sprightly fingers help to make the most incredible meals.
Peel the butternut squash with a potato peeler. Chop it lengthways, from top to bottom, into slices. You'll need to halve these slices again, so they almost look like wedges or thick chips.
Measure out 400g (14oz), and tumble the wedges of butternut squash onto a roasting tray.
Sprinkle in the extra-virgin coconut oil, the garam masala spice and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes. After 25 minutes, parachute the palmful of walnuts onto the roasting tray. Toss to coat them in the gorgeous garam masala spice. Return the roasting tray to the oven for 6-9 minutes.
For the final two minutes of roasting, sprinkle the kale leaves on top. These will crisp up beautifully.
Remove your dinner from the oven, shake the tray, and divide the contents between 2-5 serving plates, depending on whether you're serving this dish as a main or a starter.
Crumble the feta or blue cheese, whichever you're using, on top, and follow with some black olives. A decent squeeze of lemon will lift the flavours, as will Dean Martin's greatest hits.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine