Butternut nosh

Brighten up these dark, wintry evenings and perk up your dinner plate with these super squash recipes that are full of flavour

Stuart O'Keeffe

WHEN November gets into its stride, it's time to start cooking with the colourful and versatile butternut squash.

This week, I'm giving you a recipe for a salad, a tasty risotto and an unusual side dish using this bright, flavourful ingredient.

Roasted butternut squash and

quinoa salad

Serves 4


>1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

>2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, separated

>Sea salt

>Freshly ground black pepper

>400ml vegetable broth

>200g quinoa

>2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

>1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

>100g chopped walnuts

>2 bags mixed lettuce greens


>Preheat the oven to 200°C.

>Toss the butternut squash with about 1 tbsp of olive oil.

>Transfer to a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.

>Roast the squash for about 45-50 minutes.

>When the squash is just about done, combine the vegetable broth and quinoa in a separate saucepan over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer for five minutes. Set aside.

>While the quinoa rests, whisk together the remaining tbsp of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar to make a quick dressing. Once the quinoa is ready, pour the dressing over it.

>Add the squash, red onion and walnuts and toss to evenly mix the ingredients.

>Add in the lettuce greens and stir.

>Serve immediately, while the salad is still warm.

Butternut squash over risotto

Serves 4-6


>1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed into 1-inch pieces

>4 tbsp olive oil, separated

>2 litres (or more) chicken stock -- vegetarians can use vegetable broth

>4 cloves garlic, minced

>2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into half-inch pieces

>1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

>400g arborio rice

>1 large handful of chopped fresh basil

>150g freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus additional for serving)


>Preheat oven to 200°C

>Toss squash with half of the olive oil.

>Then roast butternut squash on a baking sheet with a rim for 25 minutes until it is tender.

>In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a medium heat.

>In another large saucepan, heat remaining oil over a medium heat, sauté garlic and leeks until tender but not browned. Set aside.

>Add thyme and stir for one minute. Add rice and stir for a further minute

>Add ladle of stock and simmer until absorbed, stirring consistently for about three minutes per ladle.

>Add remaining stock one ladle at a time until all absorbed. This will take about 20 minutes, working continuously.

>Remove from heat, stir in garlic, leeks, basil and Parmesan cheese.

>Serve, topped with butternut squash.

>Top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Butternut squash marshmallow bake

Serves 6-8


>3 (5-7lb) butternut squash, peeled, cubed and deseeded

>100ml water

>225g Philadelphia cream cheese, cubed

>75g brown sugar

>1 tsp ground red cayenne pepper

>2 large handfuls mini marshmallows


>Preheat over to 200°C

>Place squash in a glass baking dish with water and bake for 45 minutes.

>Place squash into a large glass bowl, add cream cheese, sugar and pepper. Mash well.

>Spread squash into a baking dish, sprinkle with marshmallows, turn on the grill and toast marshmallows for 5-7 minutes until brown and beginning to melt.