ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH TOMATO VINAIGRETTE AND GREEK FETA

Oh my goodness, this is so good, so easy to make and pretty to present. The only down side is peeling and slicing the squash. My recipe includes some tips for achieving that with minimal difficulty.

Serves 4

Prep: 35 min

Cook: 40 min

1 butternut squash

2 tbsp groundnut oil

For the tomato vinaigrette:

6 vine tomatoes

2 cloves new season garlic

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

8 tbsp best olive oil

handful of basil leaves

100g Greek feta

     Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Using a sharp, thin-bladed but heavy chef’s knife, slice off the squash ends to make flat surfaces. Use a swivel blade potato peeler to peel the squash in thin sweeps to reveal the golden flesh. Stand upright on the wider end and halve the squash – I needed something heavy to knock the blade through the dense squash. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and threads. Slice across the halves approx 15mm thick. Place 2 tbsp groundnut oil in a mixing bowl. Add the squash and toss with your hands to thoroughly smear the pieces with oil. Lay out in a single layer in a heavy-duty, shallow roasting tin. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the pieces – which should be toasty/golden – and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or so until tender and golden. Make a single layer collection of pieces in the middle of warmed plates and cover with a crumble of feta. Spoon over a generous serving of tomato-heavy tomato vinaigrette and finish with a swirl of remaining oil in the bowl. To make the vinaigrette, place tomatoes etched with a cross in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Drain and splash with cold water after 30 seconds or when the cross begins to peel open. Cut out the core in a pointed plug shape, swipe away the skin then quarter through the core and scrape seeds into a sieve over a bowl. Crush the seeds to extract the juice. Dice the flesh. Peel and slice the garlic into wafer-thin scraps. Place vinegar in a bowl, stir in garlic then diced tomato, 1 tbsp tomato juice with seasoning salt and black pepper. Stir well and leave 20 minutes. Beat in the olive oil to make a thick luscious vinaigrette. Shred the basil and stir into the sauce.