I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by these beauties weighing in together as they did at over 3 Kilos. But after a quick google for recipes I was inspired to make a griddled butternut squash risotto and a delicious soup. This used up the smaller one and the other can now be kept for further inspiration.
Griddling on the top of the stove fills the kitchen with black smoke so instead I put the long weighty griddle plate in the oven on the top shelf and turned the oven temp to 220 degrees. I tossed the sliced squash in olive oil, added red onion and an oregano salt mix and once the oven had reached the high temperature spread the slices over the very hot plate. After 20 minutes the pieces were turned over and cooked for about 15 minutes more. It worked a treat and resulted in smokey slices of squash that left no trace of smoke in the kitchen. Half were added to a risotto and after reading lots of mouth-watering squash soup recipes on-line I amalgamated several from what I could add from the fridge.
A large onion finely sliced and fried in olive oil till just turning golden brown about 15 minutes.
2 cloves of crushed garlic and a finely chopped chilli were added next and cooked for three more minutes.
The griddled butternut squash, some thyme and some very good chicken stock from the freezer went in next. A vegetarian stock would work just as well plus salt and pepper to enhance the subtle flavour of the squash. After simmering for 15 minutes it was left to cool then liquidised before re-heating with some torn rocket leaves. It was rich and unctuous and the texture and flavour contrasted well with a sour dough loaf.
On the allotment the garlic bulbs planted two weeks ago are showing healthy green shoots through the soil and a row of Ammi major sown from seed in the summer is looking very strong. It makes a fantastic cut flower and survives in the vase for nearly a week.
I filled two window boxes on the balconies with white heather and will under-plant with snow white Thalia daffodils to come through in April.