Butternut squash filed with roast roots, plum puree and celeriac cream

Ripe butternut squash has a lovely sweetness, and the maple-roasted roots and plum purée bring this out beautifully.

Serves 4, 40 mins preparation, 1 hour 20 mins cooking


  • 4 butternut squash (as large and round as possible)
  • Sea salt and milled black pepper
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and halved
  • 50ml double cream
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into small, equally sized wedges
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into small, equally sized wedges
  • ½ swede, peeled and cut into small, equally sized wedges
  • 100ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 20 fresh sage leaves

For the plum puree

  • 200g Victoria plums
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick

Ovenproof dish
Food processor
Roasting tray

Plum Purée

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
  2. Halve the plums and remove the stones. Place them in a small ovenproof dish, sprinkle with demerara sugar, then add the star anise and cinnamon. Cover the dish with tin foil and roast for 20 minutes, until the plums are soft.
  3. Discard the star anise and cinnamon, and blitz the plums in a food processor until smooth. Pour the purée into a small pan and keep in a warm place.

Filled Squash

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
  2. Peel the butternut squash. Cut the top halves off, saving them for later, and scoop out and discard the seeds.
  3. Stand the squash bases on a roasting tray, season them with salt and pepper, and put 10g of butter in each hollow. Cover with tin foil and roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Using a pointed knife, check the squash are tender, then remove from the oven and keep in a warm place.
  5. Take one celeriac half and chop into small pieces. Place in a pan with water and season with a little salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Strain through a colander.
  6. In a small pan, bring the double cream to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes to reduce it slightly.
  7. Place the cooked celeriac in a food processor, add the cream and blend until smooth. Keep in a warm place.
  8. Cut the remaining half of celeriac and tops of the butternut squash into similar sized wedges as before. Place these on a roasting tray with the parsnips, carrots and swede, and drizzle with rapeseed oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and roast for 25 minutes until tender.
  9. Add the maple syrup and sage leaves, then cook to caramelise for a further 10 minutes. At the same time, return the butternut bases to the oven and carefully reheat the celeriac cream.
  10. To serve, fill the 4 butternut bases with the roast roots. Place each one on a plate, drizzle with the plum purée, and serve the celeriac cream on the side.

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