Squash is one of my favourite foods in Winter with its natural sweet flavour. I tend to allow squash to do the talking and keep the flavours simple but with white quash, the flavour isn't as sweet and intense, so you need a robust topping. Choose to keep the skin on or off. I prefer keeping it on but only eating the orange squash skin; the white can be quite tough. This mix of vegan pesto and goats cheese allows for a creamy, Moorish meal – one perfect for a chilly day. I use walnuts in my pesto for their source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants, including being a very good source of manganese and copper, plus they taste great alongside the creamy taste of nutritional yeast and warmth of nutmeg – my secret ingredient for pesto. Make the batch and keep in the fridge for a few days – it’s great with pasta, courgetti or squash raw noodles.

 

Serves 4

1 large white squash

½ butternut squash

handful of okra

3 handfuls of kale

120 g goats cheese

handful thyme

olive oil

 

For the pesto – serves 4 with more leftover for the week

1 handful walnuts

2 packs (200g) basil

3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons tamari or liquid aminos

2 cloves garlic

pinch of nutmeg

a good glug of olive oil

seasoning

 

1.     Cut the squash into big chunks and place on a tray along with the okra. Season, add the thyme and olive oil and gently rub through with your hands.

2.     Place on 180 °  for 20 minutes, give it a good shake and then back in for another 10 minutes.  Place the kale in the oven on the top for the final 5 minutes until it is nice and crisp and the squash is soft.

3.     Whilst the squash is in the oven, make the pesto.  Mix the ingredients in a blender (I use a vitamix) on a low blend to keep a little crunch. Add in a little water or extra olive oil if it’s thick but keep the consistency thick enough so it sits on a fork.

4.     Layer the kale on the plate and top with the squash and okra. Drizzle the pesto over the top and then add 30g of organic goats cheese to each plate.

5.     Viola.

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