Roast butternut squash curry
1 medium butternut
squash (1kg), cut in half lengthways, deseeded, then cut into 1.5cm skin-on half-moons 3½ tbsp olive oil Salt and black pepper
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ¼cm-thick rounds 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 1cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 1½ tsp tomato paste 1 tbsp mild curry powder
½ tsp garam masala 1 small baking potato, peeled, halved and cut into 5mm-thick slices 1¾ tbsp soy sauce ½ tbsp maple syrup 100g baby spinach 1½ tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, thinly sliced (deseeded, if you prefer less heat) 2 tsp black sesame seeds 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges This mildly spiced dish is easy to make, and really showcases the essence of butternut squash, thanks to the fact that it is roasted separately from the sauce. Seasonal pumpkins, sweet potato – or any root vegetable, really – can be used instead of the butternut. The sauce can be made one or two days ahead: just add a splash of water to reheat, because it tends to thicken as it sits.
Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/ gas 9. In a large bowl, combine the squash with one and a half tablespoons of oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Transfer to two oven trays lined with baking paper and roast for 30 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown, then set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high flame, then fry the onion and carrot for about seven minutes, until softened and lightly browned.
Add the garlic, ginger, tomato paste and spices, and cook for a minute more, until fragrant.
Add the potato, soy sauce, maple syrup, 850ml water, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced slightly and the vegetables have cooked through.
Tip into a blender (or use a stick blender) and blitz for about a minute, until completely smooth, then pour back into the pan and put on a medium-high heat. Add the spinach, cook for two minutes, until wilted, then gently stir in the roast squash to coat, and cook for four minutes, to heat through.
Divide the curry between four plates, top with the coriander, chilli and sesame seeds, and serve each portion with a wedge of lime.