Butternut cooked two ways or rather roasted butternut, used two ways …. either way, I have always wanted to use this chef’s cooking term but unfortunately, these recipes are not as gourmet as the title might suggest. But they are healthy and tasty!
Day 9 of lockdown and my fresh produce had become rather scanty. I had been avoiding the shops before the official lockdown so I did a normal monthly shop, early, on the 15th of March. I visited the shop the day before lockdown to top up my fresh produce. I went in because the parking lot has quietened down dramatically but the reason was obvious once I went inside. There was nothing in the way of fresh produce available. On day 7 of lockdown I tried again because our local shop had finally put some social distancing measures in place. All I could get was onions, sweet potato, cucumber and one last butternut.
On day 9, this butternut was the bulk of my fresh produce, accompanied only by an onion, half a punnet of mushrooms, a tomato and a few carrots. The lack of green in the image is shameful but thankfully I still had frozen greens on hand.
And so in a surprisingly therapeutic morning of food prep, I made the most of this precious butternut as follows…
I peeled and chopped the butternut (1 – 1.2 kg), cut an onion into wedges and sliced a carrot, placing it all into a large bowl. I added 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mixed herbs, stirring the mix to coat all the vegetables evenly.
I set the butternut to roast at 180°C for 35 minutes.
While the butternut was roasting, I sliced the tomato and mushrooms, placing them in the same large bowl as it still had oil in it. I added lemon juice and stirred the vegetables to coat them with oil before adding them to a pan and cooking them on a medium heat. The lemon juice? I once saw Jamie Oliver cook mushrooms with lemon juice and now I always do it. Funny that!
To note, these add-in vegetables could be anything you have on hand or need to use up – peppers, marrows, peas, spinach.
I then prepared a mixture of :
- 6 eggs
- 100 ml low fat milk
- 1 cup grated cheese (white cheddar)
- salt, pepper and herbs to season
- fresh basil rescued from a hungry caterpillar in the garden ( a hint of green at least and certainly a flavour booster)
… for one of my favourite go-to recipes … a frittata!.
Next, I prepared 2 cups of chicken stock with an added teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon crushed garlic.
Once done, I cut 1/4 of the roasted butternut and onions into smaller pieces (no carrots) and added it with the tomato and mushrooms to an ovenproof dish. I added the egg mixture and baked the frittata at 180°C for 30 minutes until golden and firm.
I then placed the remaining roasted butternut, onions, and all the carrots into a medium-sized saucepan, with the stock and brought it to a boil. Once boiling, I reduced the heat and left it to simmer for 10 minutes. After blending it, I was left with a smooth and spicy butternut soup!
And because, why not ?
I rinsed off the butternut seeds, added a little olive oil and cumin and toasted them for 10 minutes while the Fritatta was on the go. A little crunch to top the soup!
At such a time like this, wasting fresh produce is just not an option. But is it ever okay to waste food? And so this lesson will live on beyond this lockdown.
May you and yours remain safe!
Some other great recipes for lockdown 2020: