Roasted Pesto Squash
For the butternut squash:
- 1 butternut squash, about 1.25kg
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 150ml double cream
- ½ jar Sacla’ Classic Basil Pesto
- 1 medium clove garlic, peeled & crushed
- 50g cheddar cheese, roughly grated
- Pepper to taste
For the seeds:
- Seeds, removed from the squash, about 25-30g
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6.
2. As the squash is so tough to cut, for safety’s sake, place the damp tea towel beneath a chopping board to stop it from slipping. Cut the squash lengthways in half, but don’t cut off the ends, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon and transfer them to a sieve or colander (watch video 2).
3. Rinse the seeds with water, pulling off any of the squash flesh and strings. Tip them on to some kitchen paper to dry while you prepare the squash.
4. Using a small sharp knife score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern which, apart from looking decorative, helps the heat get to the interior and cook more quickly.
5. Rub the squash all over with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them cut sides facing upwards in a baking tray, roasting tin or ovenproof serving dish.
6. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for about 50 minutes until the squash are really soft and tender when poked with a small sharp knife and the outsides are golden brown.
7. In a small bowl, mix the squash seeds with the oil and salt and pepper. Tip them on to the baking tray or roasting tin, spreading them out in a single layer. Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through with a wooden spoon, until crisp and lightly coloured. Remove and leave to cool.
8. Combine the cream, basil pesto and garlic together in a small bowl and season with pepper.
9. Remove the squash from the oven, pour the pesto cream into the cavities and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for another 8-10 minutes until hot and bubbling. Remove, scatter with a few of the roasted seeds (store the rest in an airtight container to use on salads or as a nibble) and serve.