- 1 large butternut
- For the caramelised onions:
- 2 red onions, finely sliced
- 5 T coconut sugar
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- For the rice:
- 150 g basmati or wild rice, cooked
- 150 g chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 75 g dried apricots, chopped
- 150 g mixed nuts, roughly chopped
- a pinch cayenne pepper
- a pinch paprika
- juice of half a lemon
- a pinch salt and pepper
- a pinch dried sage
- For the mushrooms:
- 160 g mushrooms
- 1 t roasted garlic
- 6 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated
- 4 peppers, roasted and skin removed
- 2 handfuls baby spinach
- 5 T cranberry sauce
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Split the butternut in half lengthways, place into a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until just soft.1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Split the butternut in half lengthways, place into a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until just soft.
2. Preheat a non-stick saucepan, add the onion and allow to sweat for 5 minutes. Add the balsamic and sugar, then cook for a further 10 minutes over a low heat until nicely caramelised. Remove from the heat.
3. Mix the rice ingredients until fully incorporated an set aside.
4. For the mushrooms, preheat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add a touch of water, then add the mushrooms, seasoning and dried garlic. Sauté for 4–5 minutes until cooked.
5. When the butternut has cooled slightly, scoop out the seeds, then scoop a 2 cm channel of flesh out of the squash and add that to the rice bowl.
6. To build the squash, first spoon in some cranberry sauce, followed by the rice mixture. Top with the peppers, onions, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and spinach.
7. Carefully place the top half of the squash on. Tie the squash together then roast for a further 15 minutes. Carve and serve.
Cook’s note: What a beautiful array of flavours and colours, all stuffed inside my favourite vegetable.
Editor’s note: If you can’t find chestnuts in South Africa, try substituting hazelnuts, walnuts or macadamia nuts. They won’t give quite the same flavour profile, but will add a pleasant nuttiness.
Photograph: Simon Smith
Recipes reprinted with permission from Vegan Christmas: Over 70 Amazing Recipes for the Festive Season by Gaz Oakley, copyright © 2018. Published by Quadrille Publishing c/o Chronicle Books.