Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash

Roasted butternut squash stuffed with shallots & beetroot and finished with a pastry lid provides a delicious meat free option for vegetarian guests this Christmas time.

Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash, with chestnuts, shallots and beetroot

Do you have vegetarians coming for Christmas dinner this year?  Are you a little unsure what to serve that is not only straight forward to make but also looks good on the plate and tastes delicious too? 

Well, how about serving this butternut squash stuffed with the seasonal flavours of chestnuts,  shallots and beetroot topped with a buttery and flaky pastry?  The vegetables are initially roasted with thyme to develop their flavours before being packed into the hollowed out base of the butternut squash with the chestnuts. The filling is delicious and flavourful, being full of seasonal produce.    

The stuffed squash is straight forward to make.  Not only does the shop bought ready rolled puff (or short crust) pastry slash the preparation time but the vegetables can easily be prepared ahead of time before being finished off with the remaining components of the dinner.  This Christmas stuffed butternut squash is a time saver allowing you to enjoy the social side of Christmas, after all non of us want to be tied to the kitchen when all the fun is being had by the rest of the gathering.

Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash, with chestnuts, shallots and beetroot

Butternut Squash, Goats' Cheese & Thyme Pizza
With the remaining squash flesh you could soon rustle up a butternut squash, goats' cheese & thyme pizza making an easy meal for Christmas Eve or perhaps a root vegetable soup.  You're also likely to have some pastry left over after making this Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash although you could wrap it up well and freeze it ready for another day, why use it to make some easy Pesto & Parmesan Sticks to allow your guests to nibble on should you be having a buffet over the festive period. 


One of the elements of this vegetarian Christmas meal are chestnuts.  I love chestnuts, with their distinctive slightly sweet flavour.  Dad would always buy a bag or two of fresh ones each winter which were then roasted in the oven before being peeled and savoured!  They were delicious!  Truly delicious!  So fabulous to enjoy on a cold, dark winter's evening whilst sat in front of a warm fire with thick woolly socks on our feet!  Though to make life easier, this recipe uses vacuum packed chestnuts which are ready to use as your recipe suggests! 



So, let's get to it and bake.


Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash       Yum

Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash, with chestnuts, shallots and beetroot
Yield: 2 stuffed squashes
Serves: 2
Difficulty: Easy
Time: Hands on time about 20 minutes. Total baking time 55 minutes.

You will need:

1 large roasting tray
1 medium sized bowl
Cling Film
Pastry Brush (optional)

For the stuffed squashes

2 Butternut Squash
2 small Fresh Beetroot
4 Shallots
3 mini Sweet Potato (or half a regular sized one)
4 sprigs of Thyme
1 - 2 tbsp. Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
6-7 vacuum packed Chestnuts, halved (I used these Merchant vacuum packed chestnuts which are ready to use and can be found in most good supermarkets)
Ready made & rolled Puff / Short Pastry (or homemade)
1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)

How to make it:


1.  Pre-heat the oven to 220c / 200 Fan / Gas 7.   Place the roasting tray into the oven.

2.  Prepare the butternut squash.  Wash the skin of both of the butternut squashes.  Use a sharp knife to cut the squashes in half just above the bulbous part.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the bulbous parts.  Rinse out the cavities.  Cut just one of the main part of the squash into chunks about 3cm cubed, you can leave the skin on and remove it after roasting if you prefer (wrap the other squash in cling film to use in another recipe such as on a pizza or in a soup).

3.  Prepare the remaining vegetables. Remove the stems from the beetroot (leave the vegetable whole).  Peel the shallots, leaving the root intact.  Peel the mini sweet potatoes and cut each into 2 or 3 chunks.

4. Coat in oil.  Place the prepared vegetables into a bowl.  Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of oil.  Use your hands to toss them together.

5.  Roast.  Remove the heated baking tray from the oven.  Add the prepared vegetables to the tray in a single layer including the two hollowed out squashes.   Place a thyme sprig to each of the squash hollows, and two onto the other prepared vegetables.  Return the tray to the oven.  Roast for 15 - 30 minutes.   Toss the vegetables half way through their cooking time.  Remove the vegetables from the oven once they are slightly tender and par-cooked - this will be about 15 minutes for the hollowed out squash, about 30 minutes for the beetroot, about 20 minutes for the remaining vegetables.  Place the cooked vegetables onto some absorbent paper to remove any excess cooking oil.  Set aside to cool.

6.  Peel the beetroot.  Once the beetroot has cooled, wrap it in a couple of sheets of kitchen roll.  Gently rub the beetroot to help remove the skin.  If you roasted the squash chunks with their skin on, remove it at this point with a knife.

7.  Assemble.   Remove the thyme sprigs from the vegetables (leaving any leaves that have dropped onto the vegetables).   Cut the shallots in half if they are a little large.  Cube the beetroot into 6 pieces.  Add the chestnuts to the vegetables and roughly mix them together.  Pack the vegetables into the hollowed squashes, aiming to get a good selection of each vegetable into each.  Gently squash them in as there are likely to be air pockets which would be nice to be filed with the vegetables.

8.  Top with pastry.  Unroll the packaged pastry.   Find a cup (or similar) which has a similar sized circumference as the hollowed out squashes.  Place the cup onto the pastry.  Use a sharp knife to cut around the cup to create a pastry disc.  Carefully lift the pastry disc and lay it on top of the stuffed squash.  Repeat for the second squash. 

9.  Set aside.  Place the squashes on a clean tray.  Cover with cling film and set aside somewhere cool until you are ready to bake them.

10.  Bake.   Pre-heat the oven to 220c / 200 Fan / Gas 7 (or the temperature the pastry manufacturers recommend).  Remove the cling film.  Use a pastry brush to glaze the pastry with egg to give the cooked pastry a deeper golden colour once baked (optional).  Place the tray containing the stuffed squashes into the heated oven for about 25 minutes until the pastry is golden and the vegetables have heated through.

Enjoy!









Butternut Squash recipes from other food bloggers


Warm Christmas Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds created by Eb from Easy Peasy Foodie
Spicy Roasted Squash an Apple Soup created by Sarah from Tales from a Kitchen Shed



This post has been shared with:


Meat Free Mondays hosted by Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes
Love Seasonal Food hosted by Clare over at Grubby Little Faces 

Festive Food Friday
Hosted by Taming Twins and Kerry Cooks 

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com
CookBlogShare








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18 comments:

  1. Yum! I actually made something really similar on Saturday when I had some vege friends over for Christmas dinner - I added rosemary and mascarpone into the mix too! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh the added rosemary & mascarpone sounds good Jasmin. We toyed with adding cheese to it but decided against it in the end as in our mind we felt it might have all melted to the bottom of the squash hollow. Did the mascarpone cheese stay well distributed in the mixture?
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. Yum! This looks delicious! I am not a vegetarian - I use to be and I still try and eat meat free a lot of the time, though. Veggies do often get a bit of a rubbish deal at Christmas, don't they? But this looks like a great veggie Christmas option. Eb x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right Eb, they really do! I was vegi for 15 years or so, but as OH is vegi (& always will be) I tend to only eat chicken / fish when we're out & about.
      Thanks for popping by and your kind comments,
      Angela x

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  3. IT sounds delicious! I love the little puff pastry lid on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Corina, it really was delicious, especially with the chestnuts. I was hoping the pastry lid would puff up, but because I applied too much pressure on it thinking I needed to stick it to the body of the squash it didn't puff - tasted good though :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  4. This sounds amazing! I'm wondering what to make for my veggie main course this year as I fancy a change and this sounds really lovely. #CookBlogShare

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mandy :-) Hope you're veggies guests enjoy it if you make it for them this year.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  5. Ooh perfect for veggies! Thanks for linking up with Festive Food Friday Angela!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks like a great vego main for christmas or any winter dinner - love how the squash is the bowl and the pastry makes a lid - so cute

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Johanna - I think because it's all parcelled together it makes it look a little more special for the vegetarian diner. Plus, the whole thing (skin included) is edible.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  7. Wow that looks delicious. Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oooh Angela, this sounds delicious, I love butternut squash! All of these flavours sound perfect together. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) butternut squash is definitely up there as one of our favourite veg too - love the colour, flavour, everything about it really. The flavours were brilliant in the hollowed out squash, especially the chestnuts.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting, and of course for hosting.
      Merry Christmas Kirsty x
      Angela x

      Delete
  9. That is such an attractive way to present a Christmas vegetarian dish. Love chestnuts and can really imagine these bring a great flavour to it. Clare x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Clare, plus it's all edible (if the diner was happy to eat the skin of the squash also). The chestnuts were amazing in it, I'd forgotten just how much I enjoy them to be honest so I'll definitely be using them in my Christmas cooking next year too.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete

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