We grew the cutest little butternut squash this year. Four of them to be exact. And all of them are the exact right size to cut in two and stuff with something delicious and serve to two people.
As it's that Festive time of year, I started to think about what we could do with these cutey pie squashes to make them both pretty to look at, which is SUPER important for a Christmas or Thanksgiving table, and what flavours might be delicious with them and inspire both vegans and non-vegans alike.
Seeing as A) I love sage & onion stuffing (the vegan kind!) and B) I love butternut squash risotto with crispy sage I decided a sage flavoured stuffing it had to be, which made me all kinds of excited. Until I realised I had no breadcrumbs. Or quinoa. Or rice.
Seriously. What kind of vegan kitchen am I keeping here? I'd run out of EVERYTHING!
Ok. Maybe not everything.
Fortunately I DID have chickpeas (I never knowingly run out of chickpeas) and oddly, a pack of bulghur wheat, which when I thought about it actually is a lovely substitute for rice or quinoa, and as it has a lovely nutty flavour, and is easy to cook, is a pretty perfect to make stuffing with. If you don't have any, or have issues with wheat, feel free to substitute cooked rice or quinoa in this recipe.
These cute little squashes are perfect to serve as part of a huge winter feast. A mini size butternut is a lovely main for two people, a larger one will require a little extra cooking, but is perfect for 4 people. I didn't include it as part of the recipe, but I do think a lovely onion & mushroom gravy would be a glorious addition to this recipe. I regard a good gravy essential for any large winter festive feast. ( I promise to give you my recipe soon. It's lush)
- 1 mini butternut squash
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 Tbs Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
For the Stuffing
- 100 g Bulghar wheat
- ½ tin or 200g cooked chickpeas
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 white onion , finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon boullion/stock powder
- 9-10 fresh sage leaves
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7/ 260C
- Cut the squash in half lengthways & scoop out the seeds.
- Rub the cut side with the paprika,thyme olive oil and salt and sit cut side up on a baking sheet
- Pop in the oven for 15-20mins whilst you get on with the stuffing.
To make the stuffing
- In a frying pan, sautee the garlic and onion with a splash of olive oil until translucent.
- Add the sage leave and fry until crispy. Break them up a little in the pan.
- Add the bulghur wheat and coat with oil.
- Add the white wine, the boullion and around 50ml water
- Stir until the bulghur has absorbed the liquid.
- Add the chickpeas and cook for a few minutes. Squash the chickpeas up roughly to help make the stuffing stuffable..
- If the bulghur is still a little dry add more liquid. Better to be a bit generous than dry! Taste and add extra salt & pepper too if needed.
- Remove the squash from the oven, and stuff with the stuffing mix. Any leftover stuffing, pop into a little oven proof dish (You'll want extra stuffing..)
- Put the squash and extra stuffing back into the oven for 15 minutes or until squishy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- Serve as part of a winter feast!
Like a traditional main meat dish, this really does deserve to be served alongside a feast 'with all the trimmings', it's not really a one dish meal, but I think that's part of it's beauty.