When it comes to Autumn, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. I don’t like the rain, cold weather & the head colds that come with it but I do love the colourful leaves on the ground and the Autumn vegetables & fruits! And one of those ingredients is the star of my recipe today: butternut squash. There are a lot of different kinds of pumpkins & squashes out there to cook with and I’m looking forward to trying some that I haven’t tried before but for my first Autumn recipe this year I’ve decided to stick to my favourite one.
I’ve gone for a stuffed butternut squash, with pearl couscous, cherry tomato, onion, parsley and crispy chorizo. I was a bit torn about using risotto vs couscous, but went with the couscous in the end as my sister commented saying ‘if you go for risotto it’ll be a lot of mushy ingredients’ (credit where credit is due!). You can tweak this recipe as much as you like in terms of toppings: mushrooms, cranberries, courgette, .. there’s a lot of different options to go for! If you want to tweak the recipe; all you have to do is stick to the basis of this recipe (cooking the butternut squash & couscous and mixing them together), everything else then is up to your own imagination.
I used spelt pearl couscous in my recipe, which is something I hadn’t tried before but it’s super tasty and is great for people with a wheat intolerance. It does still contain gluten though but you can always replace it with gluten free couscous.
Stuffed butternut squash with pearl couscous, cherry tomato, walnuts, parsley and chorizo
- 2 butternut squashes
- 2 twigs of fresh rosemary
- 500g cherry tomatoes (try and go for a mix of yellow, red, .. if you can find it)
- 1 large onion
- 400g chorizo
- 25g fresh frozen or fresh chopped parsley
- 500g pearl couscous (can be normal, spelt, gluten - free, ..)
- 200g walnuts
- pepper & salt
Preheat the oven to 200 °C Fan.
Slice the butternut squash in half lengthways, scoop out the pits from the bottom part and place the squash skin-side down in an oven tray.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper & salt and the fresh rosemary
Place int the oven for 40 minutes, scrape out the centre (stay clear from the edges to avoid it collapsing) and place aside in a bowl. Put the rest of the squash back in the oven for another 20 minutes, to allow for the center to soften up more.
Put walnuts in the oven for a couple of minutes as well
Slice up the chorizo into small bite size pieces and bake in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil until they're crispy.
Slice the cherry tomatoes into small pieces
Slice the onion up into small chunks as well and cook them in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil
Once the rest of the squash has softened, scoop out more from the flesh but make sure to leave a nice edge on the bottom & sides, so that we can fill the squash up without it falling to pieces. Mash down the flesh you removed with a fork, we're going to add this to the couscous next and we want to avoid having big lumps of squash.
Keep the squash warm in the hot oven with the heat turned off. Prepare the couscous according to instructions. Drain the couscous and transfer back to a pot. Stir in the cooked onion, butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, walnuts and the chorizo. Sprinkle the parsley on top and season with a little bit of pepper and salt (optional).
Take your butternut squash 'shells' out of the oven, scoop in the couscous mixture and you are done!