I love the onslaught of winter. The countdown to Christmas, losing yourself in big cosy jumpers and warming your hairy legs (bare pins out, black tights in!) by the fire are more than compensation for the bitterly cold weather and the fact it is dark by 4pm. But really for me the changing of the seasons is all about food. After a summer of lighter dishes, sinking into a fug of comfort food is heaven. Cauliflower cheese, bangers and mash, sturdy pies and apple crumble and custard are all weekly staples in my house as soon as the clocks go back, but amidst all that stodge are a few surprises because I also love a warm winter salad.
This butternut squash and feta one – made with Lizi’s granola – not only looks very pretty with its bright oranges and leafy greens, but the granola adds a lovely and unexpected texture whilst the salty feta cuts beautifully through the sweetness of the squash. In the run-up to Christmas it is the perfect antidote to all that rich food and is full of vitamin-C.
Serves: 4 as a main meal
Takes: 10m prep, 40m cooking time
1 butternut squash
sprigs of thyme
4 large handfuls washed baby spinach
200g feta cheese
white wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
squeeze of lemon
dash of maple syrup
handful Lizi’s low sugar granola
Heat the oven to 200c. Cut the butternut squash into quarters (carefully does it, they are quite tricky to cut) and then chop each quarter into five sections but making sure that you don’t cut all the way through the skin. This makes it quicker to cook. Splash on some olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Lay the thyme on top. Cook until the flesh is soft – check after 30m. A light char is nice here. Throw away the thyme and scoop the flesh away from the skin (actually the skin is pretty tasty too) and cut into mouth-sized chunks.
Whilst the squash is cooking, in a large bowl add the spinach and crumble the Feta. In a small cup whisk together 3 parts oil to one part vinegar. Add a squeeze of lemon, the maple syrup and lots of pepper and a little salt.
Add the squash, toss in the vinaigrette and sprinkle a handful of Lizi’s granola on top. Eat.
This post is part of our collaboration with Liz’s granola.