I bought the array of winter squashes you see here at the weekend, from the little farm shop around the corner from my house. I was so delighted to find such a cheery selection that I bought more than I needed, but can you blame me; don’t they look fabulous? Anyway, they won’t go to waste; they can be roasted, made into soup, stuffed and baked, put into risotto, even made into cake – the only limit is your imagination.
Since I bought them they’ve been sitting in my kitchen quite happily, beaming their cheeriness and making me smile every time I walked past them. This has been a busy week for me so I haven’t turned my attention to cooking them until now, but tonight I decided that roasted squash was just the thing I needed and so I selected a few to cut into pieces and tumble into a roasting dish. That wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be though; you see that little dark green one and the one in the bottom corner that looks a little like Gonzo the muppet’s nose? They were a bugger to cut. I got my knife stuck trying and so had to call Rob to the rescue. Do be very, very careful when trying to cut up these thick skinned ones.
When they were finally cut into pieces I scooped out the seeds using a metal spoon but left the skins on for roasting. Then I drizzled over olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I wanted to add something and so decided to grate over a little nutmeg, which turned out to be a lovely addition. It was really was quite intoxicating as I inhaled it and I found myself thinking of the darker evenings, crisp golden leaves on the pavement, and the Pumpkin King from A Nightmare Before Christmas. I’m looking forward to his annual visit to my house this Halloween.
I’m ready now to wrap myself up in autumn.
Roasted Winter Squash Seasoned with Nutmeg
The number of servings will depend on the size and number of squashes you use.
A selection of small winter squashes
Freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c.
Carefully cut the squashes into medium sized pieces, leaving the skin on, and then scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon.
Put the squash into a roasting tray, drizzle over some olive oil and toss them in it then season them with salt and pepper and a little grated nutmeg.
Roast the squash for about 50 minutes, until the flesh is soft. Note: if you cut the squash into smaller pieces they’ll only take about 35-45 minutes.
The squash is delicious as it is but if you like you can generously grate over some Parmesan cheese before serving. Eat the delicious flesh but not the skin!