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Allegra’s Slow-Roasted Squash with Dolcelatte Dip

Allegra McEvedy

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 8

Prep time: Slow-Roast Butternut: 10 mins Win-Win Dolcelatte Dip: 5 minsGrilled Pear & Watercress Salad: 5 mins

Cook time: Slow-Roast Butternut: 2.5 hrsGrilled Pear & Watercress Salad: 6 mins

Ingredients:

Slow-Roast Butternut:

2 butternut squash (each about 1kg), washed and unpeeled

4 tablespoons olive oil

8 cloves of garlic, cut into thickish shards (6-8 matchstick studs from a fattish clove)

4 tablespoons runny honey

salt & pepper

For the Crust:

130g fresh breadcrumbs

3 stalks of rosemary, finely chopped

70g parmesan, finely grated

80g walnuts, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 spring onions, sliced

salt & pepper

Win-Win Dolcelatte Dip:

300g cheap Dolcelatte

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

120g mayonnaise

70g crème fraiche

Juice of half a lemon to taste

salt & pepper

Grilled Pear & Watercress Salad:

3 hard pears (like Conference), skin-on, washed, cored, cut into eighths

1 lemon

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

130g (2 supermarket baggies) watercress

1 crisp apple, quartered, cored, thinly sliced

salt & pepper

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Recipe donated by Allegra McEvedy for Veg Power. Photography by Georgia Glynn Smith | glynnsmith.co.uk

The soil-dwelling equivalent of a Cote de Boeuf – the studding, glazing and crusting of the squash with the crisp pear and watercress salad, plus a hearty splodge of our favourite dolcelatte dip make this dish a real veggie party piece!

Method:

Slow-Roast Butternut:

Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Use a big knife to cut each butternut in half lengthways, then scoop the seeds out with a spoon and use a little knife to score the flesh in a deep cross-hatch. Be careful not to go through the skin.

Place in a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season well with salt and pepper (and I really do mean well) and roast in the middle of the oven for an hour.

Push the garlic shards into the slashes, then spoon over the honey and baste with the juices accumulated in the seed cavity. Stick back in the oven for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the breadcrumbs out on a baking tray and pop into the oven for 10 minutes, shuffling round halfway through. Tip into a bowl and mix with the other ingredients (keeping aside a few walnuts), plus seasoning.

Share the crust between the butternuts, lightly filling the cavities, then bake at 180°C/160°C fan/Gas for a further 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Arrange the squishy squashes on a serving platter. Generously fill their cavities with the dolcelatte dip, pile the pear and watercress salad high on the side and top it all off with walnuts.

Win-Win Dolcelatte Dip:

Put 50g cheese and the spring onions aside, then blitz everything else in a food processor until smooth.

Use a spatula to scrape the bowl, then squish the last of the cheese in.

Stir in black pepper and most of the spring onions, saving a few for the top.

Grilled Pear & Watercress Salad:

Toss the pears in a bowl with the juice of ½ lemon, a tablespoon of olive oil and some seasoning.

Put a griddle pan over a high heat. When it’s smoking hot, lay down as many pieces of pear as will fit in one layer.

Leave for 3 minutes, then lift up one with tongs. If it’s got good stripes, turn it over and do the same with all its mates.

Cook for 3 minutes on the other side, then taste one: you want it to be cooked on the outside with some bite in the middle. Take them off and put back in the bowl (doesn’t matter if they cool).

Toss together with the watercress, apple, remaining lemon juice and olive oil, plus seasoning to taste, then cuddle it up next to the baked butternut.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Scooping the seeds out from the squash is exactly the kind of slippery fun kids love. They can take charge of the Dolcelatte dip – they can weigh the cheese, mayonnaise and creme fraiche and squeeze the lemon. They can also help by turning on the blender and deciding when the mixture’s ready – it’s quick, simple, and they get to lick the spatula at the end.

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Allegra McEvedy

Chef, author, restauranteur, culinary adventurer. Super-soppy Mum. Can be found stove-side at Albertine, London.

www.allegramcevedy.com/

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