Cannellini Bean Stuffed Squash
As Autumn arrives and everything in nature turns golden, it just feels right to start enjoying vegetables from the equally golden squash family. Butternut squash is a great vegetable, the dense flesh is silky and deliciously sweet when roasted. There are so many squash varieties available, it’s hard to resist trying them all. Farm shops and markets will often sell a plethora of different squash at this time of year and even the supermarkets have started offering a bit more choice. If you do come across some, it’s definitely worth roasting and filling them. With a pocket of seeds at the centre of these vegetables, they are crying out for you to open them up and stuff them with something delicious.
Stuffing and sharing one large squash is an option, it would just need longer roasting in the oven before filling. However, choosing mini squash, to be served as individual portions, adds a bit of sophistication to your meal. It’s also a brilliant way to try the different varieties. Taste a bit of each others, see if you can spot the varying flavours and experience the textures, from firm to spaghetti-like strands. If nothing else, they provide a great conversation starter!
Cannellini Bean Stuffed Squash Recipe
4 mini squash
6 sage leaves
2 garlic cloves
4tbsp white wine
235g (1 tin) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6.
2 Slice the tops off the mini squash, keeping the stems attached, and set these lids aside. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and any inner flesh they are encased in. Place the squash and their lids on a baking tray and place a sage leaf inside each one. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30–35 minutes, until soft and lightly caramelised.
3 Meanwhile, slice the leek. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and soften the leeks with a splash of water, the lid on and on a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft.
4 Crush the garlic and slice the remaining two sage leaves into thin strips. Add the garlic, sage and a pinch of salt to the softened leeks and cook without the lid for a further 2 minutes. Add the wine and let it simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the cannellini beans, season to taste then take off the heat.
5 Roughly chop the walnuts. Divide the cannellini bean filling equally between the four squash and top each with the chopped nuts. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. Serve with leafy greens.
This recipe is suitable for vegans, just make sure you use vegan wine.