Roasted Butternut Squash and Chestnuts

Tender. Caramelised. Soft and chewy on the inside; sweet, crispy skin on the outside.

Is your mouth watering yet?

I can’t honestly take all the credit for this recipe. I stumbled upon it on the BBC Good Food website and instantly knew I had to eat this or perish unsatisfied. The alterations are minor: for one, I have not added garlic, although I am curious to know how that works with the caramelised flavours, and additionally I have increased the cooking time to maximise the caramelisation of the butternut and shallots.

I think red onions, or even plain yellow ones would work well in this dish; anything that caramelises, basically. That’s also the reason this dish would be perfect for Christmas: because it’s naturally sweet, it feels quite indulgent. Ideal party food.

Serves 4

1 butternut squash
1 pack of vacuum-packed chestnuts (200g)
3 shallots
2-3 tbsp oil
dried thyme

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
Chop the butternut into rough square chunks of about an inch. Peel and slice the shallots. Scatter the vegetables in a large oven-proof dish and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Use your hands to tumble the butternut chunks–this will ensure that every cube is coated with oil.
Cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
Crush and break the chestnuts into smaller bits that you can scatter over and in between the butternut pieces and cook for another 10 minutes.
Top with some thyme (as much or as little as you like) and serve hot.

I dare you not to eat the whole thing by yourself. It took every ounce of my self-control to stop after second helpings. 

— Clem

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