*2 whole butternut squash, washed and left unpeeled
*4 tablespoons olive oil
*8 cloves of garlic, cut into thickish shards
*4 tablespoons runny honey
*Salt and pepper
For the crust
*130g fresh breadcrumbs
*3 stalks of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
*70g Parmesan, grated on the small holes
*80g walnuts, very roughly chopped
*4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*2 spring onions, sliced, for scattering at the end
*Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2. For Operation Butternut, you’ll need both your biggest and smallest knives. Use the big guy to cut each butternut in half lengthways, then scoop the seeds out with a spoon and use the little guy to score the flesh in a cross-hatch, deep enough to really penetrate, but be careful not to go through the skin. Do a few random pokes around the seed cavity too.
2. Move the prepped butternuts into a tight-fitting roasting tray, drizzle over a healthy amount of olive oil, season well with salt and pepper (and I really do mean well – she’ll soak it up during cooking and, to be frank, she needs it) and throw them into the middle of the oven for an hour.
3. By this time the flesh will have softened enough for you to push the garlic shards into the slashes (doesn’t matter if they’re sticking out), then spoon over the honey and baste with the juices accumulated in the seed cavity.
4. Stick them back in the oven for a further 45 minutes whilst you get on with making the crust.
5. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a baking tray and pop in the oven under the butternut for 10-ish minutes, giving them a shuffle round halfway through – you want them to dry out but not colour.
6. Tip them into a bowl and mix with all the other ingredients (keeping a few walnuts for the end), plus a judicious amount of seasoning.
7. Once the garlic-stabbed butternuts have had their time in the oven, whip them out and turn the oven up to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
8. Share the crust between the butternuts, lightly filling the cavities too, then bake for a further 20–25 minutes until they become an inviting golden brown all over.
9. Find a suitably Bacchanalian serving platter and arrange the squishy squashes on it. Generously fill their cavities with cheesy dip, pile a pear and watercress salad high on the side and top it all off with the last of the walnuts.
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Quick, Quick Slow by Allegra McEvedy published by Kyle Books, priced at £19.99, photography by Georgia Glynn-Smith