Butternut squash stuffed with pesto rice

Butternut squash stuffed with pesto rice
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, 
oven time 1 hour 10-15 min

An impressive vegetarian main that sees sweet and caramelised butternut squash stuffed with uber cheesy pesto rice and then scattered with extra feta and pine nuts.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
753kcals
Fat
40.4g (10.1g saturated)
Protein
24.6g
Carbohydrates
66.2g (16.9g sugars)
Fibre
13.2g
Salt
1.2g
Calories
753kcals
Fat
40.4g (10.1g saturated)
Protein
24.6g
Carbohydrates
66.2g (16.9g sugars)
Fibre
13.2g
Salt
1.2g

See Wine Match

Ingredients

  • 2 small butternut squash, halved lengthways, seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
  • Light olive oil for frying and rubbing
  • 200g basmati and wild rice, rinsed (you can buy it ready-mixed in packets – we used Tilda)
  • 30g dried wild mushrooms, soaked in 200ml boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted

For the pesto

  • 50g chopped kale
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Large bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Large bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 60g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese
  • 80ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice 1 lemon, plus extra to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Put the halved butternut squashes on a baking sheet, cut-side up, and rub the cut sides with the crushed garlic, chilli flakes and a little olive oil. Season, then roast for 1 hour until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Put all the ingredients in a food processor (or in 2 batches in a mini chopper) and whizz to make a rough paste. (Alternatively you can chop the ingredients finely by hand and stir together in a mixing bowl.)
  3. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the rice. Simmer for 12-15 minutes until just tender but still with some bite left. Drain well and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the kale pesto. Strain the soaked mushrooms through a fine sieve, then add to the rice (discard any grit left behind in the sieve). Season to taste.
  4. Divide the pesto rice among the 4 cavities of the butternut squash halves. Sprinkle over the feta, then return the filled squash to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese has turned golden and everything is piping hot.
  5. Serve sprinkled with the toasted pine nuts, chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon.

delicious. tips

  1. If you want to speed up this dish for midweek, roast the squash at the weekend, cover and chill for up to 3 days. To cook, stir ready-made fresh pesto through a pack of Tilda microwave rice, use it to fill the squash, then bake until piping hot.

  2. Stuff the squash the day before (but cool the rice completely before stirring in the kale pesto). Once the squash is stuffed, cover and chill. To serve, bake at 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 for 30 minutes or until piping hot.

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What's the perfect wine match?

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