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I realise that this is my second butternut post in a few weeks but I do love this very versatile and delicious vegetable.  Also in times of lockdown and trying to go out to the shops as seldom as possible, it is the best thing to have around as it lasts for weeks or even months if kept in a cool and dry environment, not the refrigerator though, that is too cold.  Simply buy a few and place in a cool area and you will have it ready to go whenever you need some.  When you buy your butternut be sure to choose a nice firm one with smooth skin and no blemishes.  Did you know that its name comes from its melting texture that leaves a little taste of butter on your palate?  Or that it is very low in calories as it is high in water content (95%); so no need to feel guilty after eating it.  It has a delicious subtle taste, almost a cross between sweet potato and a chestnut, thereby allowing to be used perfectly in both sweet and savoury dishes.  One usually peels a butternut but in certain recipes, the skin may even be left on as it is in fact perfectly edible.  Versatile as well, can be eaten in soups, purees, roasted, sauteed, hot or cold. The perfect vegetable in fact.

This recipe works very well as a lunch dish or light dinner. Very quick to prepare too.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 butternut squash
6 to 8 slices of Serrano ham or Parma ham
120g / 4oz button mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
for the crumble:
50g / ¼ cup manchego cheese (can use Parmesan)
3 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into little cubes
50g / 2oz flour

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180C/360F
Cut the butternut into 2 lengthwise, remove the seeds and drizzle with olive oil
Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes
In the meantime, cut the mushrooms into slices
In a sauté pan, melt the butter and cook the mushrooms until golden, add salt & pepper
For the crumble: grate the cheese, add it to the butter and flour
With your fingers rub the mixture together until it forms little pea sized bits of dough
Spread the crumble mixture onto a small baking sheet and place in the oven with the butternut for the last 12 to 15 minutes
Remove the butternut once cooked, add the mushrooms evenly divided between the four halves
Place 1 to 2 slices of Serrano ham and sprinkle on the crumble
Serve hot with a small side salad
Bon Appetit!