BUT­TER­NUT SQUASH BOATS

Fairlady - - ETHICAL EATING -

Serves 4

This is a de­li­cious starter. The nat­u­ral sweet­ness of the but­ter­nut squash is per­fectly com­ple­mented by the nutty pump­kin seed and date cream, while the crispy cavolo nero and caremelised nuts add a lovely tex­ture.

• 2 baby but­ter­nut squash, halved length­ways, seeds and mem­brane re­moved • olive oil, for driz­zling • salt and freshly ground black pep­per, to taste • a gen­er­ous hand­ful of torn cavolo nero (black cab­bage or kale), stems re­moved • caramelised nuts, crushed

FOR THE PUMP­KIN SEED AND DATE CREAM

• 2 tbsp pump­kin seed but­ter or other nut but­ter, such as al­mond or tahini

• 2 med­jool dates, pit­ted

• 2 tbsp le­mon juice

• 1 tbsp or­ange blos­som wa­ter (op­tional) [or or­ange essence]

• ¼ tsp ground chilli pep­per

• ½ tsp salt

• 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed

• 50ml ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

1. Pre­heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Line a large bak­ing tray with bak­ing pa­per.

2. Ar­range the but­ter­nut squash halves on the lined tray, cut side down, driz­zle with olive oil and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Bake for 30 min­utes, then flip the halves over and bake for a fur­ther 10 min­utes or un­til cooked through.

3. To make the pump­kin seed and date cream: Mix all the in­gre­di­ents in a food pro­ces­sor; whizz for a few sec­onds. Add small amounts of wa­ter un­til you reach your de­sired con­sis­tency. Trans­fer the mix­ture to a bowl and cover un­til ready to serve. The cream can be pre­pared a day ahead and stored sealed in the fridge.

4. Heat a fry­ing pan over medi­umhigh heat. Driz­zle in a small amount of olive oil, add the cavolo nero and cook for about 1 minute, turn­ing over halfway through, just un­til crispy but not burnt. Sprin­kle with salt to taste.

5. Trans­fer the but­ter­nut squash boats to a plat­ter. Top with the cavolo nero. Sprin­kle with crushed caramelised nuts; driz­zle with the pump­kin seed and date cream.

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