Sunday, November 12, 2006

Vegetarian Roast Dinner

My dad has invited us to Sunday lunch today. I'm looking forward to it, he does a great roast dinner. He's roasting a leg of lamb for himself and me, but my husband, Ed, is a vegetarian. It's OK, Ed loves all the trimmings and will be very happy indeed with a plate full of roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, mashed parsnips, carrots, stuffing, and plenty of bread sauce and vegetarian gravy.

When I do a roast dinner at home, though, I often make my own vegetarian version of a roast stuffed chicken: stuffed butternut squash. If I'm feeling lazy I might use a packet stuffing mix (one of the nice ones with rosemary and a sachet of apricot jam to mix up with the stuffing), but on special occasions I make my own stuffing.

Stuffed Butternut Squash
Easy version - cut a butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and feed to the chickens, mix up the stuffing according to the packet and use to stuff the squash halves. There'll be too much stuffing, so spread it all over the cut surface of one of the squash halves. Reassemble the halves to make a sort of squash/stuffing sandwich. Rub with butter or olive oil, wrap in foil and bake for a bit in a quite hot oven. (sorry I can't do temperatures in degrees and times and stuff, I don't usually cook like that). Serve with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, bread sauce and all the trimmings.

Complicated version - make stuffing as follows: fry an onion (chopped very fine) in 2 oz butter until transparent. Into this, mix 2 to 4 slices of wholemeal bread (ripped into smidgins), a good dollop of dried rosemary (perhaps a tablespoon), same amount of chopped fresh parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix in a beaten egg and a big lump of apricot jam. Then follow the instructions above.

Whilst we're on the topic: Bread sauce
Into a heavy saucepan bung 1/2 onion chopped very fine, 1 or 2 slices wholemeal bread ripped into smidgins, 1 oz butter cut into bits, 3-4 whole cloves, 1/2 pint full fat milk, 1/4 pint double cream. Bring it to a simmer then let it sit on the lowest heat with a lid on for as long as it takes to make dinner. Stir sometimes. Before serving add a dollop more cream, salt and freshly ground black pepper and a generous grating of nutmeg. Yum.

Are you entertaining vegetarians this Christmas? Hit "save"!


The Gnome said...

Why do you rub the squash with olive oil ? Can you eat the skin ? I thought you had to scoop he contents out. Am going to grow butternut squash for the first time next year. Any tips ?

Melanie Rimmer said...

Hi, Gnome. I rub the squash with olive oil so it's roasted rather than baked. You can leave the oil off if you prefer. Yes you can eat the skin. It's surprisingly thin and soft, not chewy and hard like I thought it would be. Only grow butternut squash if you have *loads* of space. I grew one this year and wish I hadn't. It sprawled all over my 20'square plot, smothered lots of other crops such as my peas, and although it set a fair few fruit not one had ripened by the time the first frost killed the plant. I won't grow them again any time soon, although I have heard they can be trained to grow vertically up a wigwam. Good luck with yours.

Hedgewizard said...

That's an interesting observation Mel, so thanks; I've been intending to grow mainly squash next year and just one or two pumpkins, so I'll certainly have to have a good look at their growth habits. Were these supermarket saved seeds, or bought ones?

Melanie Rimmer said...

I don't know Hedgie. It was one of many plants which were left in pots on our allotment by the seedling fairy. We got courgettes, cabbages, sprouts, squash, I can't even remember what else. We found space for them all. Allotment people are the best.

Hedgewizard said...

Yep, I was down at the lotties helping Digiveg relocate his asparagus crowns (to Wales) at the weekend, and he was pointing out numerous bits and bobs people had done for each other.

I ended up with so many pumpkins this year for the same reason; people kept giving them to me. Next year I shall either say "no thanks" or just smile sweetly and pass them on to someone else... I'm thinking the latter!

Anonymous said...

Tried the recipe last week - it was very yummy and surprisingly filling. Thanks for posting this! I made a goat's cheese and walnut stuffing for the inside.

Scrake (here via selfsufficientish)

nzlstar said...

coming in late on butternut growing and space. i wonder if you can snip/halt-growth on the vines after you've got a few fruits set thus putting all the growth energy into the fruit. should make for healthier, larger fruit but take up less vine room in your plot.
i've not grown these but seems to me i recall reading somewhere this works for most large type vege. worth a ponder perhaps.
cheers, jeanne(off to research to satisfy my own curiosity)

nzlstar said...

i found this site with some pruning info etc on pumpkin growing. probly much the same for all squash, eh. some fun stuff to do with the kids there too.
NAYY i'm off to be a kid again. :)
cheers, jeanne

Melanie Rimmer said...

Hi, Jeanne! It's great to see you here. Everybody, this is Jeanne. I know her from a quilting newsgroup and as it happens I was sitting wrapped in a beautiful quilt she and some other friends made for me when I saw she had left a message.

Those are some good ideas about disciplining unruly squash, and worth a try. I've got a lot more space this year, so I probably will try again, but I'll do more research this time.

Will you be hanging about? It'd be great if you joined the little community we're building here.

Buy Levitra said...

Great article! Thanks.

Phentermine said...

Thanks for interesting article.

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Anonimous said...

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Hey there
Any advice on how to make veggie gravy?
Great post by the way!

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