It is the time for Lent here in Greece, and people are avoiding meat and dairy for this month leading up to Easter. A lot of people I know here do not really observe it in detail, but I saw a tweet by the Guardian asking for recipe swaps. It asked for vegetable roast recipes, and it has a chance to be published in a future edition of Cook, a Guardian weekend supplement. That would be so cool!
I love butternut squash. I have cooked them in risotto, in curries, and I love having it plain roasted in the oven too. In combination with chickpeas, I have also once made a roasted curry that tasted superb, and I thought, hey let’s make another one, but this time, make it look like a proper roast roll.
This is totally vegetarian, and you can have it with tortillas, or proper Mash and Gravy, or even a simple Pilaf Rice.
- 1 large red onion, cut into cubes
- 1 large leek, sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 2 carrots, grated
- 200g of mushrooms, cut into small cubes
- 3 tbsps of olive oil, plus a bit more to coat the foil in the loaf tin
- a large handful of parsley, chopped
- 200g of chickpeas, boiled soft
- 1 medium-sized butternut squash
- 2 tbsps of soya sauce
- Juice from half a lemon
- 2-3 tbsps of breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp of thyme, dried
- 1 tsp of oregano, dried
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Prepare the butternut squash. Cut it in half and clean it. Season the squash with salt, pepper, 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of thyme (from the 1 tbsp).
- Roast it in the oven for 40 minutes, or until soft. Once ready, take it out of the oven, and leave to cool.
- In a pot, heat up 2 tbsps of olive oil on medium heat. Saute the onion until soft.
- Add the leeks and garlic. Cook until the leeks are soft.
- Add the mushrooms and grated carrots, stir to mix.
- Season with the soya sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft.
- Add the chickpeas and the parsley. Try breaking some of the chickpeas with the back of your spoon.
- Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated. The mixture has to be ‘dry’. Taste, and season if needed. Leave to cool in the pot.
- Now to assemble the ‘roast’.
- Scoop out the butternut squash flesh, and add it into the cooled vegetables. Add the breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly. You can use fine breadcrumbs, but I have a preference for thick panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs.
- Season with the lemon juice, and the rest of the thyme and oregano and mix thoroughly. Don’t be too concerned about using your hands here. Get right in there and mix.
- Line a loaf tin with foil, and oil the foil slightly. You can use baking paper here too.
- Place the mixture into the loaf tin, and press down gently. Cover the top with the foil. This would help keep the roast stay in shape.
- Bake the roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, covered, and remove the foil covering and roast until it has turned nice and crispy brown.
- Leave to cool and tip it out onto a serving plate.
- Bon appetit!