Generally speaking, I'm happy when a favourite restaurant updates their menu. It means someone is being creative in the kitchen, and translates into more variety for the customer (i.e. me). Sometimes, though, it also means losing a favourite dish. This recipe is based on one meal I was particularly sad to see vanish from the tables of a local restaurant.
I love butternut squash, and the creamy mushroom filling complements it perfectly. This is also really quick and easy to make; although the roasting takes a while, you don't have to be in the kitchen for most of that time. (And my gerbil loves to eat the squash seeds, so everyone wins.)
This recipe is vegan as long as you use a vegan cream cheese (which is generally the best kind of vegan cheese, in my opinion).
Mushroom-Stuffed Butternut Squash
1 small butternut squash
2tsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 small leek
150g chestnut mushrooms
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
100g cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
- Wash the outside of the squash, cut off the stem, and slice the squash in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds.
- Rub the surface of the squash halves with olive oil.
- Place the squash on a baking sheet (cut side up) and bake for 45 minutes, or until the flesh is soft.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the mushrooms, onions and leeks.
- When the squash is about 10 minutes from ready, fry the remaining vegetables.
- Season the vegetables with sage and pepper to taste.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream cheese to the still-warm pan. Stir until combined into a creamy filling.
- Take the roasted squash from the oven.
- To avoid all the filling being at one end, use a fork to mash a channel into the solid flesh of the squash.
- Divide the filling between the two squash halves.
- Return the squash to the oven for 5-10 minutes to ensure everything is piping hot before serving.