Stuffed butternut squash takes centre-stage in this colourful vegetarian feast. Make it vegan by using dairy-free yoghurt, spread and feta.
For the yoghurt sauce
- 200g/7oz natural yoghurt or dairy-free alternative
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 20g/¾oz finely chopped mint leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the stuffed squash
- 80g/3oz brown or white basmati rice
- 1 large butternut squash (approx. 700g/1lb 9oz), cut in half lengthways and seeds removed
- 3 tbsp butter or dairy-free alternative
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, finely diced
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 20g/¾oz finely chopped fresh parsley
- 20g/¾oz finely chopped fresh coriander
- 20g/¾oz finely chopped fresh dill
- 100g/3½oz toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
- ½ pomegranate, seeds removed
- 200g/7oz feta (or dairy-free alternative), crumbled
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
Make the yoghurt sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper before transferring to a serving bowl. Keep chilled until ready to use.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the rice as per packet instructions. Drain and keep warm once cooked.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and place the butternut squash halves cut side down on the lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30–45 minutes, or until cooked through and soft.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan on a medium heat, melt the butter (or dairy-free alternative) with the oil. Add the onions and cinnamon and cook until softened, stirring often. This will take about 15 minutes. Set aside.
When the squash is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before scooping out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Keep the skins intact and leave on the baking tray.
In another small bowl, mix the parsley, coriander, dill, pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
Add the warm rice, feta, cooked onions and two-thirds of the herb mixture to the squash flesh. Mix thoroughly and then spoon equally into the squash skins. Bake in the oven for 15–18 minutes, or until piping hot.
Carefully place the cooked squash on a serving platter, then scatter over the remaining herb mixture. Serve hot with the yoghurt sauce.
Stuffed butternut squash with fresh herbs, cinnamon and rice