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Stuffed squash with jewelled rice and salsa verde
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You can roast the squash and make the rice in advance, stuff them, and reheat in the oven just before serving. The onions take a little while and a little effort, but they are worth it as they really make the dish.
2 medium squash (butternut, onion or harlequin)
4 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, sliced
175g brown basmati, red camargue and wild rice
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander
½ lemon, juice
75g pistachios, roughly chopped
100g pomegranate seeds
25g pack parsley
½ x 25g pack basil
½ x 25g pack mint
4 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp capers, rinsed and chopped
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds and any fibres; discard. Place cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking tray, lightly brush the flesh with 1 tbsp oil and season. Roast for 50-55 minutes, until tender and caramelised; set aside to cool slightly.
2 Meanwhile, heat another 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and ½ tsp salt and cook, stirring often, for about 50 minutes until golden, sweet and caramelised. Cook the rice in a separate pan according to pack instructions, then drain and set aside.
3 Add the spices and another 1 tbsp oil to the onions and cook for 2 minutes, then tip in the rice and stir over the heat until combined. Stir through the lemon juice, then allow to cool slightly before tossing through the pistachios and pomegranate seeds; season.
4 For the salsa verde, finely chop all the herbs and mix with the remaining ingredients (or pulse everything in a small food processor). Pile the rice into the squash halves and serve immediately with the salsa verde.
This recipe was first published in November 2017.