I love the colour of a delicata squash – bright yellow orange flesh with a dramatic green and yellow striped skin. When roasted the flesh becomes slightly sweet and the skin rich and nutty. Roasting it in Ossa’s Ghee deepens the flavour and offsets the sweetness of the mixed spice in this recipe perfectly.

The chestnuts add a festive feel but if you cannot find them the recipe is equally delicious without. I love to finish it with a good zesty pesto. I used sage here adding an element of maturity to the dish. You can serve this as a Christmas starter or even as a side. Any leftover pesto can be kept to add to pasta or even spread on toast.

Ingredients

  • 50g whole almonds
  • 2 medium delicata squash (or one large one)
  • 3 banana shallots (or 6 small shallots)
  • 2 tbsp Ossa Organic Ghee
  • 100g cooked chestnuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • salt and pepper
  • small bunch basil
  • small bunch of sage
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped.
  • juice of half a lemon
  • tsp sea salt
  • pepper
  • 6-8 tbsp olive oil, plus more to garnish

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180° fan setting. Spread almonds on a clean and dry baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until they begin to smell nutty. Remove and allow to cool.

2. Increase oven temperature to 225° fan setting.

3. To prepare the squash, slice it in half width ways. Then cut both halves down the middle lengthways. Scoop out the stringy, seedy flesh (see note.)

Slice squash into roughly 1cm pieces and spread them out onto a baking tray.

4. Peel and halve shallots and add these to the tray with squash. Sprinkle over just 1 teaspoon of mixed spice over the squash and shallots and season with salt and pepper.

5. Place ghee in a saucepan over a low heat to gently melt it. Pour about three quarters of it over the squash and shallots and massage everything together with your hands ensuring an even coating.

Roast for 20 minutes after which the squash should be soft and slightly charred. Briefly remove from the oven to turn the squash pieces so they get an even char.

6. Place chestnuts in the saucepan with the remaining ghee. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon mixed spice and season well with salt and pepper. Stir to combine before adding to the tray with the squash and shallots. Continue to cook for a further 10 minutes until everything has a nice golden char to it.

7. To make the pesto add the laves of your basil and sage to a food processor followed by your garlic, lemon juice, teaspoon of sea salt and a good grind of black pepper. Pule until well broken down.

8. Add almonds and pulse again until they are broken down but you still have some texture. Transfer mix to a small bowl and slowly add your oil stirring until you reach a desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

To serve place roasted squash, shallots and chestnuts onto a serving dish or dishes and spoon over the pesto.

Note – Rather than discarding your squash seeds give them a rinse and remove as much pulp as you can. Allow them to dry slightly on a clean dishcloth. Preheat your oven to 180° fan setting. Place dry seeds in a small bowl and combine with ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp chilli flakes, a good pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. Stir and spread over a parchment-lined tray. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until crunchy. Enjoy sprinkled onto salads, soup or as a snack

Ossa’s The Ghee

100% pure clarified butter from cows that are grass fed to organic standards. Rich in CLA & Vitamins A, D & E. Non-GMO. Not bleached, deodorized or hydrogenated. Ghee is free from lactose or casein and is ideal for people moving away from a diet based on dairy. Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter or most vegetable oils and is ideal for frying.