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Inspiration

Smashed butternut, roasted garlic & pomegranate croutes

Smashed butternut, roasted garlic & pomegranate croutes

For those evenings when you just have a few friends popping by, when you need something bite-size to hand round at a get-together, or you’re looking for a recipe to serve as the prelude to the main event, it’s good to have a few smaller dishes up your sleeve. Like these smashed butternut, roasted garlic and pomegranate croutes. The recipe below is enough to make ten to twelve small slices of squash-topped toast.

What you’ll need

1 large butternut squash
5 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp chilli flakes
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Sourdough bread
A bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 pomegranate (just the seeds)
A sprinkling of sea salt, cracked black pepper and grated parmesan

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) or gas mark six.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways. Scrape out the seeds and then place each half of the squash (skin-side down) onto a lined baking tray.
  3. In a bowl, pour in the olive oil. Crush two of the garlic cloves by carefully pressing down on them using the side of a wide chopping knife. Pull the skin away and put the flesh into the olive oil bowl. To that, add the chilli flakes and thyme sprigs, and mix.
  4. Pour the mixture over the squash and then sprinkle with a little water from your hand. Cover the squash with a layer of baking parchment, leaving it loose rather than tucking it in tightly.
  5. Roast for 25 minutes, removing the parchment for the last five minutes, and then place the squash to one side to cool, leaving the oven on. While it’s cooling, slice as many pieces of fresh bread as you need, rubbing them with olive oil and the remaining garlic clove, and place them in the oven to warm slightly – five minutes at the same temperature is plenty.
  6. As the bread is warming, scrape out the soft butternut squash flesh and the garlic mixture (removing the thyme sprigs) into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the parsley once mashed.
  7. Take the bread out of the oven, then generously top with the squash mixture, a scattering of pomegranate seeds, a touch of seasoning and the grated cheese.

Chef’s tip

When it comes to removing the pomegranate seeds, cut the fruit in half and then, over a small bowl with the seeds facing downwards, hit the back of the fruit with a rolling pin and they’ll start popping out. Do it as close to the bowl as possible to prevent any juice from spraying.

This recipe was originally created for our sixth volume of Stories by the Somerset-based chef Sam Wylde, owner of Sam’s Kitchen Events.