Well, summer’s over and autumn has officially arrived. And to prove it, I spent most of last week recovering from my first seasonal cold (bleurgh 🙁 !)
But aside from annoying niggly autumn illnesses, I kinda like this time of year – and that counts double for autumnal food!
I’ve been defrosting homemade soups like there’s no tomorrow, chilli was on the menu last weekend, there’s a sweet potato in the fridge waiting to be topped with cheesy deliciousness, and most exciting of all butternut squash is back in season (yay!)
I love butternut squash – even more so since I recently learned you can roast it without peeling, which is the only thing about the vegetable that I hate! It makes a fab addition to comfort food classics like good ol’ mac and cheese, which is what’s inspired this dish – butternut squash quin and cheese (cos it’s made from quinoa instead of pasta – get it?)
Now, I find casseroles almost impossible to photograph so you might have to take my word on this one! But just picture it now, gooey Italian mozzarella melted into your favourite superfood grain, topped with seasonal veggie goodness and of course, even more cheese. B-e-a-utiful.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your slippers, light some candles and cosy up on the sofa with this delicious autumnal dish. Oh, and I hereby give you permission to plate up in double servings. Enjoy!
- 1 butternut squash, roasted in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp rosemary
- 1/2 an onion, sliced and fried
- 8-10 mozzarella pearls
- large handful of spinach, wilted in boiling water
- 200g quinoa cooked in 400ml water
- 1 courgette, peeled or thinly sliced lengthways into ribbons
- 20g butter
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 400ml almond milk
- 100g parmesan cheese
- 50g breadcrumbs
Cook the quinoa according to the packed instructions and layer it in the bottom of the casserole dish with the roasted butternut squash, onion, and half of the mozzarella pearls.
Make a cheese sauce by heating the plain flour with the butter in a saucepan, and gradually adding almond milk until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Add in half of the parmesan and stir until melted through.
Pour half of the cheese sauce over the quinoa and butternut squash. Layer over the wilted spinach and the courgette ribbons, and the remaining mozzarella pearls. Pour over remaining cheese sauce and top with the breadcrumbs and parmesan.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for approx. 20 mins, until the sauce is bubbling and the parmesan is golden brown.