I Heart butternut
May 18, 2012 in Cooking with Woolies
I love to completely spoil myself in the first two weeks after being paid and indulge in fat, juicy free-range steaks and perfectly seared salmon fillets. Then I live off of hearty, low-budget soups and freshly made pasta with a good home-made tomato sauce for the rest of the month.
So now is the time for those aforementioned hearty low-budget meals. But they’re actually fun to make because they tax my creativity and force me to come up with something new, exciting and satisfying at the same time.
I always have big fat butternuts(on a super buy-bulk-and-save promotion at Woolworths right now) in the bottom of our vegetable basket at home, so this lovely member of the pumpkin family is usually the star of most of my dishes.
BUTTERNUT WEDGES WITH THAI PASTE
One way I use them is to cut the butternut into wedges then slow-roasting the chunks with a splash of olive oil in the oven until done. I serve these with a home-made Thai paste that I make by blending 1 large handful of coriander leaves, 1 5-cm piece of ginger, grated, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 fresh chilli and mixing that with a couple of splashes of sesame, olive or canola oil. I also like to add the juice of limes or lemons for great tart flavour.
I use the paste to flavour up a thick Thai butternut soup, sprinkled with chopped coriander and cashew nuts on top.
I also love to simmer the fragrant paste with coconut milk and stock for a Thai butternut curry. At the beginning of the month I’ll add a few plump pan-fried prawns just before serving with delicately steamed jasmine rice.
ROAST BUTTERNUT AND BEET SALAD
This is one of my favourite winter salads. Beetroots, including those lovely little baby beets, are in season and their earthy flavour goes so well with butternut.
I like to serve this salad warm with a splash of red wine vinegar, olive oil, small chunks of goat’s milk cheese, chilli-roasted pumpkin seeds and lots of fresh rocket.
To make the chilli-roasted pumpkin seeds, toast a handful of pumpkin seeds in a dry pan. In another pan, gently fry dried red chilli in olive oil for 1 minute, then add the seeds and toss to coat.
I would love to hear what you make for yourselves at home with butternut.
Lots of love