Jamie Oliver's Hamilton Squash

1/09/2007 04:05:00 PM

In Jamie's book, Happy Days with the Naked Chef, he gives a recipe for butternut squash filled with rice. The squash is hollowed out, the flesh mixed with rice and other spices before being packed back into the squash. Then it needs to be baked for an hour and a half, until the squash and the rice is all cooked. The method sounded really interesting, and I had a big round pumpkin knocking about in the fridge, so I thought I'd give it a go. It was supposed to be my lunch yesterday.

While it was cooking, I prepared a salad to go with - Nigella's cucumber and pomegranate salad from Feast. It always looks beautiful, and is light and refreshing against a spicy or substantial meal. You toss small dices of cucumber with pomegranate seeds, finely chopped mint leaves, olive oil and lime juice.

Now, after the allotted time in the oven, the pumpkin flesh was well cooked, but the rice was still hard! Grr. I covered it back up and put it in for another half hour, by which time the rice was still hard, and the pumpkin was becoming disconcertingly mushy. I was starving by this stage, so I gave up on the pumpkin and reheated some leftovers. *Sigh*. It was probably too ambitious of me to try the recipe without a butternut squash. I assume that the recipe will work with a long, thin butternut squash instead of a big old round pumpkin, and it did smell nice... so I'd probably still give it a go in future.

It seemed like a waste to chuck out the pumpkin, so after lunch I scooped the rice out and put it in a pot, added a bit of water and cooked it for 5 minutes until it was all soft and edible. We had it for dinner that night, and it was actually quite tasty!

As for the pumpkin flesh, I put that in a separate bowl to be refrigerated and used the next day...

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