I really like the nuttiness and sweetness of this vegetable. My favourite way to cook it is to first peel it, then cube it, toss it with olive oil and spread it on a baking tray for roasting. It is perfect when tender and lightly caramelised on the edges. When cooked this way, it can easily be added to a pot of soup with seasoning, stock and whatever ingredients would go well with it. I have used it before in this miso soup with chestnuts and also not roasted in a simple butternut soup with blue cheese and walnut toppings.
Among many recipe ideas, there is something else you can add it to: a delicious quiche.
I start as a base with cubed butternut roasted in the oven then cooled down a bit before layering on the pastry dough. Afterwards, I add one of two more ingredients, usually including cheese: grated gruyere or Comté, cubes of feta or goats cheese. A creamy egg custard poured on top, a bit of baking in the oven et voilà, you have a tasty quiche.
I really enjoyed the combination of butternut squash and blue cheese like I used in the soup I posted last year so I decided to go for it again with this recipe. My choice of cheese was Crozier Blue, a wonderful Irish crumbly blue cheese (which happens to be a vegetarian cheese for those interested).
This resulted in a delicious creamy quiche packed with flavours lovely balanced with the sweetness of the butternut and sharpness and saltiness of the blue cheese. Add to the plate a side of mixed salad leaves with a mustard or honey dressing and it makes for a delicious lunch or dinner.
Mini quiches with this flavour combination would also be a great addition as starter for a dinner party with friends.
Do you like butternut squash? What are your favourite recipes to make with it? Share your suggestions in the comments below if you want.
Ingredients (serves 6 people)
500g butternut squash (peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
100g crumbly blue cheese* (I used Crozier Blue which happens to be a vegetarian cheese)
100ml double cream
For the shortcrust dough
200g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
100g diced butter
50g cold water
1 pinch salt
1. To make the shortcrust dough, put the plain flour, salt and butter in a large bowl. Mix with your fingers until you get a fine crumb. Make a well in the centre and pour in the cold water. Knead the ingredients together to shape the dough, flatten it and wrap in clingfilm. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (180˚C Fan).
In large bowl, toss the butternut cubes with the olive oil, Transfer on a baking tray making sure it is well spread. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 40 minutes until golden brown turning half way through cooking.
3. While the butternut is roasting, dust a large flat surface with flour and roll out the dough (about 3mm thick). Line a large tart tin with baking paper and then the dough (I use a 30cm diameter dish with removable bottom; if using a quiche dish that will also be the serving dish, skip the baking paper part). Trim the dough on the edge of the tart tin (not too short as it will shrink a bit while cooking). Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and place it in the fridge while the butternut continues roasting.
4. When the butternut is cooked, take the tray out of the oven and set aside. Turn the oven temperature down to 180˚C (160˚C Fan)
5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs together. Mix in the double cream and season with salt and pepper (blue cheese can be quite salty so I always keep that in mind before adding too much salt).
6. Take your tart tin out of the fridge with your dough now chilled, spread the roasted butternut cubes evenly on the base. Crumble the blue cheese all over. Pour the egg and cream mixture over the squash and cheese. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the crust is golden on the edges and the egg mixture has set. Leave to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the quiche from the tin and transferring onto a large serving plate.
Serve warm slices with a side salad (with a honey dressing to balance the sharpness of the blue cheese and a little sprinkle of walnuts if you feel like it).
Note: * for a vegetarian recipe, make sure the blue cheese is made with vegetarian rennets.