Now we are into September, I think we can officially break out the Autumn recipes. While it might not be time for scarves, gloves and thick coats, I am definitely thinking of all things Fall.
With cooler temperatures and squashes and pumpkins arriving into the shops, my thoughts turn to roasts, soups, stews and casseroles. One of my favourite ways of cooking vegetables is to roast them and with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, autumn and winter vegetables really taste at their very best.
This vegetable plait consists of roasted seasonal vegetables, deep green Cavolo Nero, together with fragrant, woody herbs, chestnuts and blue cheese. They all go exceptionally well together and form a perfect vegetarian dinner dish. It’s also really good served cold the next day with salad, or in a lunchbox.
1 small Acorn or Queen squash, or a small butternut squash, washed, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
2 small red onions, halved and sliced
Small bunch of Cavolo Nero, washed, ribs removed and roughly torn up
Small bunch of Sage, rolled and cut into very fine strips
1 tbs Thyme leaves, chopped
200g Blue cheese like Stilton, rind removed and broken into fairly large crumbles
1 Pack of vacuum packed chestnuts, broken up a little
Puff pastry – either home-made or shop bought and rolled into a rectangle (approx 35cmx23cm)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Egg and a little milk for brushing
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C
Rub the squash with 1tbs of olive oil, 1tsp salt and ½tsp pepper and place on a baking tray and roast until tender and just catching at the edges. This will take around 30 minutes. When ready, allow to cool.
While the squash is roasting, gently sauté the onions in a small knob of butter, a little oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, translucent and golden. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. In the same pan, add a little more butter, the kale and a tbs of water. Stir around until it has wilted a little.
Place the puff pastry onto a lined baking sheet and cut thick strips around the edge, leaving a centre rectangle intact.
Gently, mix together the squash, kale, chestnuts, cheese, sage and thyme and place onto the pastry. It should be fairly compact as you are going to wrap the strips of pasty around it to form a parcel.
Brush the strips with a little of the egg wash and fold over the ends first and then alternate side strips until the filling is encased. Cover with cling film and chill for an hour or overnight if you are making ahead.
When you are ready to bake, brush the egg wash all over the pastry and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Bring on Autumn, I love it!