It was time to play guess the mystery squash this week when our veg box arrived. A few googles later, I came to the conclusion it must be a carnival squash. You've got to admit, it's quite funky.
I decided that peeling this would be a bitch, so opted for roasting in the skin. I'd never baked a squash before, but my whole recipe ended up being quite successful and I made it up myself! I'd learnt from my first attempt at cooking pumpkin last week that the sweetness of squash goes quite well with salty, savoury flavours (check out this recipe), so I just kind of worked on that basis and on the food I had in.
Here goes, folks.
1 squash (carnival or otherwise)
1 pack streaky outdoor-reared bacon, chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
100g white basmati rice
250ml chicken or vegetable stock
a bunch of kale or cavolo nero, chopped
a few sprigs thyme
pepper to season (unless you also fancy adding salt to salty bacon)
Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Prepare each squash by cutting in half. Do this carefully with a big, sharp knife. It may take a bit of time to work it apart. Use a spoon to remove the 'guts' of the squash (this is the seeds and stringy stuff in the middle - I call it the guts). You should then have something which looks a bit like this:
Drizzle with a little olive oil, place on an oven tray and bake for 40 minutes until golden and soft.
Meanwhile (although not immediately - co-ordination, people!), fry the bacon over a high heat until cooked and beginning to crisp. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are starting to brown and soften. Add the rice and stir and then add the stock. Simmer with the lid on for 12-15 minutes, until the stock has nearly all been absorbed by the rice. Add the thyme leaves and kale and stir through until wilted. Season with the pepper.
Remove the squash from the oven when ready. Stuff the squash with the bacon and mushroom rice. You should have something which looks a little like this:
This was so delicious that I ate far too much and gave myself tummy-ache. And even the veg-phobic fiancé approved (although the bacon probably helped a lot)! I think it could be improved, however. Maybe a bit of garlic next time and some lemon juice.
Nom nom nom.