Butternut squash has a natural sweetness that is only enhanced by this gentle roasting. You know it’s ready as the skin is beautifully golden & it has released a sensational amber caramel into the tin (make sure to get all of this into the tin with the tomatoes before it cools & turns sticky!).
Squash is also a relative of the carrot & brings with it plenty of beta carotene (the plant derived form of Vitamin A). Beta carotene in itself is a potent antioxidant but also has the ability to be converted into Vitamin A which is integral to the health of our eyes (among other things).
The tomatoes & onions then bring their own power to the party. Cooked tomatoes are rich in Lycopene (another antioxidant) which is especially important for men’s health, whilst red onions & garlic have anti-inflammatory action & balance our immune systems.
I think this dish makes a fabulous alternative to any usual roast dinner accompaniments or a great component of a mezze lunch with fresh, zingy salad leaves, avocado, eggs, falafel, fish……..
Basically it just tastes REALLY good so whatever you’ve got hanging about when you decide to make it will be great alongside! 😀
1 medium Butternut Squash
400g cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 large or 3 medium red onions
4 garlic cloves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Optional: 1 red chilli
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise & use a spoon to remove the seeds*. Place the 2 halves on a baking tray cut side down & roast for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile cut the onions into chunky slices & arrange in another, deep baking tray with the cherry tomatoes.
- Peel the garlic cloves, cut into thin slices & sprinkle over the top. Season with black pepper, add the thyme, sliced chilli if using & drizzle over 1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil. Toss everything together then pop into the oven when the squash has 20 minutes to go.
- Remove everything from the oven once ready, transfer the squash to a chopping board & cut into 1cm thick slices. Depending on the size of your squash you may want to chop these in half again.
- Remove the thyme stalks & add your squash pieces to the tomatoes & onions. Gently mix everything together so the squash becomes coated in the roasting juices but the tomatoes don’t get completely broken up.
- Check the seasoning then serve either warm or cold alongside poached fish, roast chicken or as part of a delicious mezze lunch or dinner.
* I personally love to roast the squash seeds, partly because I hate to waste anything that can be eaten but also for their unique crisp nuttiness.
Simply spoon them into a sieve, rinse off any remaining squash flesh, tip onto a parchment lined baking tray & place in the oven with the squash for about 10-15 minutes. They’re ready when they’re golden, simply keep in an airtight jar for up to a month & sprinkle over salads for a deliciously crunchy crouton 🙂