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Posts tagged ‘squash recipe’

Maple roasted squash and pecan salad, with a soft sticky cheese

imageIt’s suddenly very autumnal out there. The trees are sequentially turning golden and the breeze carries with it the scent of burning leaves, bonfires and chestnuts, hanging in the cold night air. A light mist seems to settle most evenings now, as the sun sets ever earlier, mixing atmospherically with the smokey scent in the air.

I’m happily continuing my current obsession with sweet potatoes and squashes. On a crisp Autumn day, sometimes a salad can seem like just the thing for supper, yet once it’s gone dark, all salad thoughts rapidly evaporate in favour of eating something warmer and comforting. This is the salad for such an evening – warm, sweet squash and buttery, rich pecans contrast beautifully with rich, creamy cheese and peppery rocket.

The combination of squash and pecans crops up a lot in seasonal American recipes – squash and pecan pies seem intrinsically linked to thanksgiving. Whilst we don’t have thanksgiving in the UK, the flavours still epitomise the Autumn season for me.

You want a lovely, sticky soft cheese for this recipe. I bought one from a cheese stall on our local market and can’t remember exactly what it was, maybe a Cardo or a Wigmore, but it was the sort of cheese that oozes satisfyingly from its rind when left at room temperature. A goat cheese could also work well with this. Make sure it’s removed from the fridge at the start of the cooking time to allow it to warm up and bring out the flavour.

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Autumn roasted vegetables, hazelnut dukkah, tahini yogurt

Autumn roasted vegetables, hazelnut dukkah, tahini yogurt

Autumn roasted vegetables, hazelnut dukkah, tahini yogurt

Sunday night dinners are always some of my favourites. It’s the one night I try very hard to be at home, to have a relaxed night in, as a last bit of indulgence before the weekend is over. Sunday night is a recuperative night, to restore and soothe you for the week ahead. Good food is integral to this and I absolutely believe that a slow cooked supper is the best foundation for a languorous night on the sofa. If you can dedicate your mind to it, chopping and stirring can be almost meditative, having a gentle rhythm to help escape from that endless to-do list whirring around your mind. Not to mention that slow cooking naturally lends itself to comfort foods – succulent slow cooked meats, casseroles and puddings, such a luxury compared to weekday grab and go meals.

The rain felt endless this weekend. A deluge from the sky. The sort of weather where the most tempting activities are all sofa based. I’d eaten a lot of meat and rich food over the weekend, a big plate of roast veggies was just the thing I needed. Having spent the summer months without consuming anything resembling a root vegetable, roasted roots have regained their appeal, so I set about chopping with zeal. Without any accompaniment, this is probably enough for 3 or 4 portions, so providing a few leftovers for the two of us. Read more