Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
1 small butternut squash (about 500g/1lb 2oz), peeled, deseeded and cut into roughly 3cm
10 sprigs of thyme
50 ml (2fl oz) olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50 g (2oz) whole almonds (with their skins on)
250 ml (9fl oz) water or vegetable or chicken stock
125 g (41/2oz) quinoa
100 g (31/2oz) feta cheese, crumbled into roughly 1cm (1/2in) chunks
4 tblsp chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°C), Gas mark 6.
Place the butternut squash in a roasting tin and add the thyme sprigs and olive oil. Mix together, seasoning with salt and pepper, then place in the oven and roast for 30–40 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelised around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the squash is cooking, scatter the almonds on a baking tray and place in the oven to roast for 5 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove the nuts from the oven and chop very roughly with a knife.
Meanwhile, pour the water or stock into a saucepan on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa and some salt and pepper, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 10–12 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is just tender.
When the quinoa is cooked, place in a large bowl with the roasted squash, chopped nuts, feta and parsley. Mix everything together, taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, and serve either warm or at room temperature.