Roasted Butternut squash pilaff with fruit and nuts
Following on from my blog at the beginning of the year, I bring to you another great winter recipe. This pilaf brings an exotic feel to a winter’s evening. Feel free to play around with the ingredients. You could try apricots, pomegranate seeds, mint or pistachios, for example. It is hearty, healthy and deeply flavoursome. I find it works very well as my packed lunch the following day, too.
500ml vegetable stock
1 small butternut squash
Pinch of saffron
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
1 small handful chopped coriander
50g finely sliced Brazil nuts
200g Basmati rice
50g sour cherries
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Cut the squash in half and discard the seeds. Peel, then cut the flesh into bite-sized chunks. Place the chunks on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake for around 30 minutes until really tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the rice and fry for a further 2-3 minutes to coat in the oil. Stir in the squash, saffron and stock, then season and bring to the boil. Stir well, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice and squash are tender.
4. Stir well, then taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Add the roasted butternut squash pieces.
5. Pour the pilaff in a large bowl or on a platter. Sprinkle the cherries, Brazil nuts and coriander over the top and serve immediately.