Simple pleasures

Roast Squash with Juniper, Thyme, Garlic and Paprika

Sometimes it’s the little things. The touches here and there that make a meal special. And they don’t have to be tricky or crazy, sometimes simple is best.

I love the accompaniments that you put together and throw in the oven, letting it do the work for you. That’s why I love roasting vegetables to go with weekend lunches, although in this case, with a good loaf of sourdough bread, this could be the lunch itself.

I’ve used cochina squash, but butternut would be fine. One is enough for four people, and as part of a larger meal is probably plenty for six. It goes so well with roast meat, and with a salad or two on the table as well, it’s going to be a colourful meal.

You can throw whatever spices and herbs you like at a squash and they’ll generally work out. I often roast them with garam masala, or just some chilli and cumin, but here I’ve added juniper, thyme and smoky paprika for a change. And don’t forget to roast the seeds as well for a little crunch.  Serve with a slow cooked chicken and roast tomato dish if you fancy. Pile everything on the table and let the hordes dig in.

1 large squash, cut into six wedges, seeds kept for roasting
1tbsp crushed juniper berries
1 bulb of garlic, halved
A few thyme sprigs
1tbsp smoked paprika
1tbsp poppy seeds
Olive oil and balsamic to drizzle over
Salt and pepper to season

Put the squash wedges, skin and all (thank God, that saves a job) in a roasting tray and throw over the remaining ingredients. Roast at 180c for about 45 minutes to a n hour and serve in the dish at the table.









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