Already dismissed this as some hippy-dip-shit student food which you wouldn’t deign to eat? Ah, don’t be misled. The Antipodeans know how to do brunch (try Lantana or Granger & Co if you don’t believe me) and brunch dishes, as far as I am concerned, are perfect weeknight nosh. Fast, filling and comforting, they are like nursery food for grown ups and why save the wonders of eggs or asparagus Benedict just for weekends? I am not sure I would really want butternut squash with my morning coffee so this would perhaps be a step too far from my usual choices but for a quick supper it is divine. I love yogurt with olive oil and garlic as a dressing for vegetables (Ottolenghi’s aubergines with saffron yogurt is stunning too) and, once you throw in the chilli butter and eggs this is a wonderful combination of easiness and impressiveness.
And, god, I would never have put squash with eggs (all that orangey-yellow is a bit much) but it really works. Be aware that a butternut squash under a kilo is hard to come by so, if making this for a couple of people, you will probably have half of one left. On the plus side squash lasts a while so you could have most of the ingredients for this hanging around and it is quick enough to be a last-minute dinner.
Roasted butternut squash with chilli butter and poached eggs (adapted from Fusion)
For two people you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
olive oil, about 50ml
sea salt, a pinch
garlic clove, 1
white wine vinegar, a dash for poaching the eggs
butternut squash, about 4-500g (unpeeled)
chilli flakes, about 1 teaspoon, or a couple of dried chillies
plain Greek or Turkish yogurt, 100g
fresh coriander and/or flat-leaf parsley leaves, a small handful
1. First, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan-assisted/gas 6, then peel and cube the squash, toss it with one of the dried chillies, or a pinch of the flakes and a good splash of olive oil then roast it for about 15-20 minutes until soft.
2. Whilst the squash is cooking, peel, top and tail and crush/finely dice the garlic clove and mix it with the yogurt and four teaspoons of the olive oil. Leave to one side (at room temperature).
3. Rinse the herbs then put the butter in a smallish frying pan over a low heat and, once melted and just starting to brown, crumble in the second chilli or add the rest of the chilli flakes, leave to cook for a few seconds, then take off the heat, throw in the herbs and the rest of the olive oil (about 20ml) and, again, leave to one side.
4. Finally, fill another small pan (I use an old frying pan) with water (you’ll need a poached egg’s depth-worth…), add a teaspoon or so of wine vinegar then, once the water is boiling, break in the eggs, turn down the heat/move the pan off the heat and let the eggs poach in the hot water.
5. Divide the squash between two bowls, top with the yogurt, then the eggs and finally dress with the chilli-herb butter.