This dish has all of my favourite things. Sweet, crispy gorgeous roasted squash, with crunchy, tangy pomegranate seeds, and warm toasted flaked almonds sprinkled over the top. All finished off with a little balsamic glaze, and beautiful melted goats cheese. Its divine. It’s colourful, elegant, and has so many amazing flavour and texture combinations, making it exciting to eat. Delicious as a side to go with meat or fish, but easily substantial enough to be a dish itself. Best of all, it’s so easy to make! All you need to do is cook the squash, and let the oven do its magic developing the flavours. Finally, finish off with a few toppings.
Personally, I love goats cheese, but I know it isn’t for everyone. If this is you, you can leave it out no problem. There are more than enough flavours to enjoy without it. If you do like it, it can be grated on the top as a finishing touch, which is delicious. Or, you could even add larger chunks to the squash for the last five minutes of oven time. This would allow it to merge with the flavour od the roasted squash. Also, I love toasting the almonds as I think it just adds an extra dimension to the flavour and makes them stand out a little more, but you can skip this step if you want. The flavour will still shine through and the crunchy texture will be the same either way.
To make the roasted squash as tasty as possible, its best to leave it in the oven until it is nice and brown. It might take a little while, but trust me, the flavour it creates is wonderful, so it will be worth it. My general rule is, if in doubt, leave it in a little longer. Far too many times have I been greedy and impatient, taken it out too soon, and then been disappointed with the texture and taste. It needs time to caramelise, and create that beautiful sweetness that we all love.
My family raved about this dish when I first made it, and it has now become a new favourite. If you want to give it a go, see the recipe below. Trust me – you won’t be disappointed.
Roasted Squash with Pomegranate and Almonds
- 1 medium butternut squash
- ½ pomegranate
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar/glaze
- 3 tbsp flaked almonds
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 15 g goats cheese
- 1 lemon
- fresh mint
- Cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Now cut the squash into 1cm slices. Spread onto a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Place in the oven at 200°C for 30 minutes.
- While the squash cooks, de-seed half a pomegranate. I find it easiest just to peel off hte flesh and pop the seeds out with my fingers.
- Place the almond flakes in a dry frying pan or wok. Toast on a high heat for a few minutes, until slightly browned. Shake the pan every few seconds to toss the almonds so they don't burn.
- After 30 minutes, check on your squash. It needs to be caramalised and browned – if it doesn't look finished, leave in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. Once it is done, take out of the oven and transfer into a dish.
- For the garnish, sprinkle on the almonds and some pomegranate seeds. Carefully drizzle a little oil and balsamic vinegar over the top, and squeeze some lemon juice on too. Grate a little goats cheese on and leave to soften, and finish off with a sprig of fresh mint. Now eat and enjoy!
Method in Pictures
Gather your ingredients
Half your squash and scoop out the seeds
Cut the squash into 1cm size chunks
Spread onto a baking tray, drizzle with oil and place in the oven for 30-40 mins
De-seed a pomegranate
Toast some flaked almonds in a dry pan
Remove squash from the oven
Garnish with pomegranate seeds, balsamic vinegar, almonds, lemon juice, grated goats cheese and mint