the end of winter

this winter, i certainly prepared my fair share of casseroles, chilis, and soups. but since yesterday marked the first day of spring, i thought i'd make one last one before retiring them for a while (at least until the next freezing day that inevitably occurs once or twice before summer hits). for an engagement gift, my grandma bought us a beautiful new le creuset casserole dish - a small one, the perfect size for two people, in a pretty blue color. but it proved just too small for last night's casserole, forcing me to use my trusty (and gigantic) bright red one instead.

this recipe for butternut squash casserole from bbc good food was recommended to me by a friend - and it turned out to be pretty tasty. it reminded me of a simpler and milder version of the spicy vegan chili i made last year (since it uses bulgar wheat and simmers away for a while), but if i had more time i would have cooked it for longer, letting the sweet potato and butternut squash pieces soften even more and start to disintegrate. i also have changed a couple of things from the original recipe - mostly amounts (and not garnishing with cheese and yogurt of course - although phil grated some cheddar for his bowl).

so here we go! and i've got a huge tupperware container with leftovers in the fridge, so that's my lunches for the next couple of days!

butternut squash casserole

serves 4 or more

the particulars:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup bulghar wheat
  1. in a large pan or casserole dish, heat the olive oil, then cook onion and garlic for 5-7 mins until the onion is softened. add the cumin seeds and paprika, then cook for a further 2 mins. stir in the sweet potato, red pepper and butternut squash and toss with the onion and spices for 2 mins.
  2. pour in the tomatoes, red wine and vegetable stock, season, then simmer gently for 15 mins. stir in the bulghar wheat, cover with a lid, then simmer for 15 mins more until the vegetables are tender, the bulghar wheat is cooked and the liquid has been absorbed. if you have the time, leave it to simmer for longer (stirring occasionally) to really incorporate all of the ingredients and to bring out the flavors more.
  3. serve in bowls topped with a spoonful of yogurt and some grated vegetarian cheddar (optional).