I will let you into a secret. I genuinely don’t like the taste of meat. Even a young child, I would happily chomp through roasties and veg, leaving the meat untouched on the side of my plate. If mum made a quiche, I would pull out the asparagus spears, and leave the egg, cheese, and bacon for everyone else.
Every now and then, the urge to have some meat takes me and I am happy to eat it. But I guess it born from laziness, meat requires you to chew….
So, I am always looking for delicious alternatives that are a) Not the ubiquitous vegetarian option of Nut Roast, b) Not some crazy, over processed derivative of a chewy plastic sponge (Quorn I’m looking at you….)
So, this is one of those options. All the flavour, texture, and nutritional value, just less need to chew…
1 Large Butternut Squash
3 Spring Onions, finely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, grated
80g Green Lentils, drained from a can
80g Cooked Basmati Rice
50g Pistachios, roughly chopped
50g Pomegranate seeds
1 tsp Pomegranate Molasses
2 tsp Baharat
½ tsp Salt, plus extra to sprinkle
Olive Oil to drizzle
1. Preheat oven 180C. have foil, string, and a roasting tin ready.
2. Wash the squash, cut in half, and scoop out the seeds. Using a spoon or a melon baller, create a channel about 2 cm deep in each half, running the length of the squash. Drizzle a little olive oil inside.
3. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl and taste. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, bearing in mind the raw onion and garlic will mellow on cooking.
4. Spoon the filling into both cavities and reform the squash. Tie at three intervals with string to hold it together.
5. Drizzle the skin with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Wrap in foil and place in the roasting tin.
6. Roast for 60 minutes or, remove the foil and roast for another 30 minutes until tender and golden.
7. Serve, sliced with all the traditional roast accompaniments.