Butternut squash is such a delicious vegetable and in my book is best roasted. I usually roast it in olive oil, ground cumin and sea salt which gives it a beautifully earthy flavour. For this recipe, I departed from my usual and roasted the squash in a marinade of olive oil, maple syrup, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Is there anything nicer than a sweet nutty flavour?! Don’t bother risking the loss of a finger by peeling the butternut squash; once roasted it is becomes tender and is perfectly edible.
For this dish, the roasted squash is served on a bed of baby spinach for a dose of leafy green goodness and topped with pomegranate seeds for tart sweetness and toasted pistachio nuts, just because they are one of the most delicious things in the world (I exaggerate, not)!
If you are tempted to add some cheese to this dish, I would suggest a light crumble of feta cheese. This serves 2 as a light supper or lunch or 4 as a side dish.
1 medium/large butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup of pistachios, shelled
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 /190C. Cut the butternut squash in half length ways and then cut it into slices about a half inch wide. Place on a baking tray. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the maple syrup, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Using a brush or y, brush the butternut squash with this mixture. Place the butternut squash in the oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the slices half way through this cooking time.
Place the shelled pistachio nuts on a separate baking tray and place in the oven for 12 minutes after which time, remove them and set them to one side.
In a separate small bowl or jar, mix together 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with the balsamic vinegar and sea salt.
Place the baby spinach in a large serving bowl and drizzle the balsamic dressing over it so that the spinach leaves are lightly coated in the dressing. Serve any leftover dressing on the side.
Once the butternut squash is cooked, place it on top of the spinach leaves and sprinkle the pomegranta and oasted pistachios over it.