When I was a kid in Britain, the word “squash” solely referred to syruppy cordials, containing about 2% fruit. When a Canadian friend came over to visit, she kept refusing offers of squash, thinking that Brits really enjoyed giving gourds to their houseguests.
Thankfully, with the rise of farmers markets and seasonal eating, squash has come to mean something so much more in the UK (and I’m not talking about the racquet sport now). We’ve got pumpkins galore, harlequins like the ones in the photos, butternut squash and those really cute diddy ones that look like they’re from a Martha Stewart photoshoot. I haven’t found spaghetti squash over here yet, but you can’t have everything.
Squash are super versatile, keep forever until you cut them (so good if you hate food waste as much as I do), and an absolute nutritional all-rounder. This recipe took a starting point from Yottam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, but with my own twist on it.( If you haven’t tried my Best Ever Butternut Squash yet either, don’t forget to give that a go too.)
Like lots of our recipes, this one premiered on our Instagram a while ago, so be sure to follow us there for in-the-moment updates.
1 squash (I used harlequin), cut into slices approx 1.5cm
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 star anise
2-3 allspice berries
2 cardamom pods, seeds only
8ish peppercorns, pink if you have them
For after cooking:
zest of a lime
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
1. Grind all of the spices in a grinder or pestle and mortar, then mix with the oil in a bowl, and chuck in the squash. Get your hands in there and really mix it up, ensure a good coating of that gorgeous-smelling oil.
2. Lay on a baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes, checking at 20 to make sure it doesn’t catch.
3. Serve with lime zest and freshly chopped coriander.