This week’s recipe is a last hurrah for the winter squash. They’ve had a pretty good innings. Harvested in October, they have been patiently sat in rows in the shed waiting for their moment of glory on the dinner table. The mice have only recently discovered them, burrowing tunnels through the yellow hide and leaving little trails of squash sawdust in their wake. I’m surprised I didn’t find one, Disney style, in the central seed cavity of a squash up-turned, post-gorge and rubbing his full belly. Still, it can’t be easy being a mouse in the depths of winter, and if the odd squash dinner makes things easier then I don’t mind. (I won’t, of course, be so magnanimous when the little sods are eating the tops off my pea shoots.)
So, between me and the mice, the squash stores have been depleted and, this week, I find myself with just a couple left to cook. I’m feeling the need for a good dose of vegetables but not in a crisp, raw, light way. No, I want rich, warming comfort. Fine, let’s not be ladylike about it: I want stodge. But veggie stodge. I begin with an unctuous squash puree, add spelt and top with a colourful and satisfying mix of roast veg and feta. It’s quite a lot of veg. And very filling. But it feels like a proper Sunday Lunch kind of a meal rather than an apologetic veggie main course and that’s exactly what I was hoping for.