Butternut squash, pear and hazelnut salad

The fascinating mix of flavours and colours are a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds
The combination of sweet, bitter and nutty flavours work very well in this salad
Serves 4


* 2 ripe pears, quartered and cored
* juice of 1 lemon
* 1 whole butternut squash, cut in half lengthways and deseeded
* salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 garlic cloves
* 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
* 6 tablespoons olive oil
* 200g Lancashire cheese, broken into chunks
* 50g hazelnuts, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with a piece of tinfoil.

2. Slice the pears thinly and place in a bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice and mix gently.

3. Cut each butternut half into three wedges. Place in the baking tray with a good pinch of salt, the unpeeled garlic cloves and the thyme leaves. Drizzle over two tablespoons of the olive oil and mix together with your hands.

4. Cover with another piece of foil and seal the edges. Bake in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes.

5. In a bowl, mix the cheese with the chopped hazelnuts.

6. Remove the tinfoil bag from the oven and tear open to allow to cool. Once cooled, remove the roasted pieces of squash and garlic.

To make the dressing

7. Pour the lemon juice at the bottom of the bowl of pears into a separate bowl and set aside
. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and add to the lemon juice

8. Add the juices from the foil bag. Gently stir the remaining olive oil into this mixture to form your dressing. Finish with a pinch of black pepper and two tablespoons of water

9. Remove the butternut squash flesh from the skins and cut into chunks. Gently mix into the hazelnuts and cheese. Divide the mixture equally on to four plates and finish with the dressing.

Recipe adapted from the book 'Best Of British ' published by Kyle Books, £15.99.

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