It’s cold, undeniably cold, when I walk from work in the evenings. I sometimes skid on the wet leaves in my haste to get home, clutching my house keys in one hand and bundling my jacket sleeve around my other. I live for the wonderful moment where you step into your warm home, kick off your shoes and make a cup of tea. But nothing says cosy autumn evening to me more than a hearty supper.
I need heat as well as heart in my cold weather meals though, so this recipe (and it’s partner recipe coming tomorrow) is packed full of spices for flavour and punch. It doesn’t take as long as you might think to roast sections of squash, stuff it with aromatic lamb mince and serve. The final additions of feta and pine nuts make it feel like a weekend treat, even though it’s only really Tuesday.
1) Preheat your oven to 190C. Cut two large sections from the base of the squash, so you end up with something similar to two little bowls. Scoop out the seeds, place on a baking tray upside down (bowl bit facing down on the tray) drizzle with olive oil, season no whack in the oven as soon as it’s up to temperature.
2) Deseed and dice two peppers (any colour which suits you) and dice one aubergine. Place in a seperate baking tray with three peeled and roughly chopped garlic cloves. Same lesson; drizzle with olive oil, season and get it in the oven.
3) The roasting will take approximately 30 minutes, plenty of time to cook the lamb. Slowly sweat two peeled and finely chopped onions in 1tsp culinary coconut oil (no coco flavour). Once the onions are soft, add 250g organic lamb mince and cook until no pink remains.
4) Meanwhile, make your spice mix. I used a scant teaspoon of ground coriander, paprika, hot chilli powder, tumeric and cumin, then added just half a teaspoon (if that) of cinnamon. You may have different spice preferences so just add a little bit of everything at a time and keep smelling until you reach a combination that makes you salivate.
5) Add the spice blend to the lamb mix a teaspoon at a time; you might not need all of it and it would be good to save some for tomorrow’s recipe. Stir and season, then add 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree that has been dissolved in half a mug of water, maybe more. You want a thin passata texture to it. Let it bubble and reduce whilst you taste test to see what needs improvement.
6) After half an hour is up, stir your garlicky vegetables. Flip over the squash sections and stuff with lamb. Top with cubes of feta and place back in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
7) Serve up – add a dollop of homous and sprinkle over pine nuts.
I would love to hear what you think of this recipe, especially if you decide to give it a go yourself. Be sure to check back in tomorrow for a companion recipe, using the other half of the lamb mince, spice mix and feta. Wishing you all a lovely weekend.