Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Middle-Eastern Sausage and Butternut Squash Casserole

Since taking on the allotment we have tried, with limited success, to grow a few varieties of squash.  Courgettes are no problem at all, they are too generous at times, but this isn't courgette season.  No matter how the shelves grown under their weight, I won't be eating any until my first harvest next year.

The winter squashes are still abundant and in season.  Each variety has a different texture and flavour and my favourite, Crown Prince, is huge and keeps well.  A decent one will happily provide four meals for a small family.   Despite this variety, our choices at the tills are less bountiful.  At least butternut squash is the one that has taken hold.  It is very versatile and has great flavour and texture unlike the harlequin squash which is sweet but granular.

For some reason the traditional "What are we having for dinner?" question was met with blank expressions all round this morning.  I wont bore you with the full inventory of the kitchen shelves, suffice to say a butternut squash* was in attendance.  We still have a surfeit of meat in the freezer from our last meat box delivery from Swillington Farm.  So in some stolen idle moments at work I trawled the internet for inspiration.

What I found was a shed-load of curry and soup** recipes.  Soup doesn't stand high in my evening meal charts and we've had curries lately.  I kept clicking my mouse until I found a recipe that I'll be returning to next summer, Middle-Eastern Broad Bean Stew.  It included butternut squash in the ingredient list.  A few tweaks later and tonight's menu emerged.  The Sausages from Swillington are Pork, Sage and Apple.  A savoury and sweet sausage that works well with the squash.  Sweet heat from harissa acted as a great foil for the two.

*in this house, also known as a pumpy-squash-fruit. Don't ask.
**check back next week for Today's Lunch if you are interested in soup.

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