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It doesn’t look as though we’ll have a white christmas this year, although we have had some frosty mornings to get us in the right frame of mind.  Cakes and puddings are baked, the spuds are lined up and just a few more presents remain to be wrapped.

So there’s just time to give you some inspiration for using up the left overs on the day after the big feast.  There’s a joke that says if you haven’t got your brussels sprouts on cooking before the end of the school summer holidays then you’ve left it too late!  No doubt there are many of you who’ve forced yourself to eat soggy over-cooked sprouts on christmas day only to swear you’ll never eat them again.  They don’t usually feature on anyone’s favourite list of vegetables, but they’re actually highly nutritious and have a lovely savoury tang when lightly cooked. Anyway, these delicious sausages from Early Vegetarian Recipes will persuade anyone to give the sprouts another try!

Brussel Sprout Sausages 
Mary Pope (1893), Novel Dishes for Vegetarian Households

4 ounces cooked sprouts
2 ounces mashed potatoes
2 ounces bread crumbs
1 ounce butter
1 teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 egg and breadcrumbs

Mix the vegetables, bread crumbs, and flavouring well together, moisten with half the egg, form into sausages, roll in the other half of egg and bread crumbs, and fry in the one ounce of butter

Sometimes our veg box delivery throws up some real gems.  Last week it was this colourful collection with harlequin squash and purple carrots.  I wanted to roast the squash, as that is not only the easiest way to prepare squash, but also really brings out the subtle flavours, enhances the gorgeous colour of the flesh and has the added bonus of a dramatic looking dish at the end of it! I also figured a light touch was required to make the most of these fabulous ingredients so decided on quinoa as a filling, although risotto rice would work well too.

Don’t forget the seeds of the squash, as they’re bursting with nutrients and make a delicious snack or addition to the meal in their own right.  In this instance the seeds roast in lemon juice and sprinkled over the finished dish, which was then served with roast purple carrots.

Harlequin Squash Stuffed with Lemon Infused Quinoa

1 harlequin squash
1 cupful quinoa
2 cupfuls water
1 lemon, juice and grated zest
Fresh ground black pepper

For the seeds

Saved squash seeds
1 tblsp olive oil
1 dstsp lemon juice
Sprinkling of sea salt

Cut the squash in half and remove the stalk.  Scoop out the seeds and keep them to one side.  Roast in an oven 175C / 350F /  gas 4 for approximately 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft.

Meanwhile prepare the quinoa by cooking with the water for around 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Just before the end of cooking add the grated lemon zest and the juice, keeping enough juice to use for the seeds.  Add some salt and black pepper.

For the seeds:  wash the seeds from any flesh and pick out the plumpest seeds, discarding any small flat ones.  Put the seeds on a roasting tray and coat with the oil.  Put in the oven with the squash.  After about 10 minutes as the seeds are beginning to brown sprinkle them with the lemon juice and salt, mix thoroughly and pop them back into the oven for further couple of minutes until the seeds are browned.

When the squash are cooked, pile the quinoa mixture into the centre of the squash, sprinkle the seeds over the top and serve with roast vegetables.

Lemon Roast Squash Seeds


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