Oh heyyy, is that Autumn I see on the horizon?? I am ready for it. Summer salads and barbecue recipes are GREAT but its been a while since I ate my own body weight in crock pot meals. This Roast Butternut Squash, Raisin Pesto and Couscous recipe is a little nod to the upcoming season while still being nice and light and almost summery. Not to mention that is is SO TASTY.
We’ve got butternut squash that’s been roasted with cumin, turmeric, chilli and cinnamon sitting on my fave Wholewheat Giant Couscous and Puy Lentils, both from Merchant Gourmet, plus some cavelo nero. Then everything is topped with raisin pesto (more on that later) and some crumbled feta. You’re left with this super filling, tasty, vegetarian dinner that is Ideal for those meatless Mondays. Or any other day of the week, we don’t discriminate here.
Anyway, as I was saying, the pesto. THE PESTO *insert a little drooling face right here*. Believe it or not I spend a lot of my free time watching videos from the Bon Appétite test kitchen on Youtube. That’s where I discovered this recipe. I’d just like to personally thank Andy Baraghani for this one; it’s a game changer. Mint and parsley are blended with garlic, salt, oil and raisins. Yep raisins. You get this incredible herbaceous, slightly sweet sauce that goes so well with the spiced squash. I added a squeeze of lemon juice for some extra acidity and boom job done.
How do you roast butternut squash?
Roasting butternut squash is really simple and is definitely my favourite way to cook this veg. To prepare the squash start by chopping off the top and bottom. You can peel it if desired but the skin is edible and softens when roasted. Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds using a spoon the cut it into whichever shape you prefer. Lay the squash pieces on a baking tray in a single layer, add a tablespoon of oil and your preferred seasoning.
Cook the squash in the oven at 180ºC/350ºF – Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your squash.
- Cubes – 20-30 minutes
- Wedges – 30-40 minutes
- Quarters – 40-50 minutes
- Halves – 45-60 minutes
- Whole – 60-90 minutes
Flip half way through cooking too. The squash is done when you can pierce the flesh easily with a knife and it is golden brown in colour.
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Your ideal meatless Monday meal; roast butternut squash, couscous, lentils and kale topped with raisin pesto and crumbled feta. Delicious!
- 1 butternut squash, seeds removed and cut into 1cm wedge
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1tsp chilli flakes
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 100g holewheat giant couscous (I use Merchant Gourmet Wholewheat Giant Couscous – please note this link is for a pack of six)
- 250g cooked Puy Lentils (I use Merchant Gourmet Ready to Eat Pu Lentils)
- 50g cavolo nero or kale
- Squeeze lemon juice
- 60g feta cheese
For the raisin pesto:
- 25g mint
- 15g parsley
- 2 tbsp raisins
- A pinch salt
- 110mls olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- A squeeze lemon juice
- Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC.
- On a baking tray toss the butternut squash wedges with the oil, spices and seasoning until the squash is evenly coated with the spices. Spread the wedges on the baking tray in a single layer. Pop it into the oven for 40 minutes, turning half way through.
- To make the pesto add all of the ingredients to a blender and puree for up to a minute until you have a smooth sauce. Leave aside until you are ready to serve.
- Halfway through cooking the squash start to cook the couscous. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and add the couscous. Toast the grains for 2-3 minutes until they develop a golden brown colour. Then add 200mls cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the water as absorbed and the grains are cooked through.
- Add the lentils to the saucepan with the couscous, along with 2 tablespoons of water. Place the kale on top of the couscous and lentils and cover the pan with a lid. Let the kale steam for 3-4 minutes, until just wilted. Add a squeeze of lemon and stir everything in.
- To serve add the couscous, lentils and kale to a bowl, top with the butternut squash wedges, crumbled feta and a drizzle of the pesto. Enjoy!
- If you use small grain couscous skip toasting it and cook as per packet instructions. Warm the lentils and kale separately then stir everything together at the end.
Keywords: Roast Butternut Squash, Raisin Pesto, Meatless Monday, Vegetarian Dinners