Very easy, really tasty, and truly hearty.


There is no reason you couldn’t tinker with the ingredients. You can put practically anything you like in the middle! Couscous, or indeed any pulse/grain you like, would work equally well.


  • Small handful porcini mushrooms (or any mushroom)
  • Butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, pounded
  • Pinch of dried chilli
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 5 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g basmati rice
  • 1/2 handful toasted pine nuts


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F
  2. Soak porcini for 5 minutes in 1/4 pint boiling water.
  3. Scoop out flesh from squash (I use a combination of a small knife and scraping with a soup spoon to do this). Stop about 1.5cm from the skin.DSC00662
  4. Chop up the flesh, fry with oil, onion, garlic, coriander seeds, chilli, rosemary and tomatoes.
  5. Fry for 4 minutes, add porcini and half the soaking water, cook for 2 minutes then season.
  6. Stir in rice and pine nuts, pack mixture tightly into squash and press the two halves together.
  7. Rub skin of squash with olive oil, wrap in tin foil and bake for 1 ½ hours.

This is one I made the other day:

butternut squash prep


  • 1 finely diced tomato
  • 1 (very) )large garlic clove
  • 1/2 a finely diced onion
  • Finely chopped oyster mushrooms, plus 3 more placed whole in the centre
  • 4 olives, finely chopped
  • a little (1-2 tbsp.) of the squash flesh
  • a handful or fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 stock cube
  • Pepper