Stuffed squash with jewelled black rice

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Stuffed squash with jewelled black rice (vegan)

This is a simple recipe with an arguably strange mixture of flavours but (I think) it works quite nicely.

I wanted to try making a vegan recipe, which essentially it is, though I later went on to cover it with feta, which, understandably, took it up a notch. If you’re not vegan, don’t hold back.

SERVES

2 as a main, 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-large squash, halved and deseeded (I used kabocha but butternut, coquina or acorn would work)
Olive oil
Sea salt
140g black venus rice
80g chickpeas, drained
2 spring onions, sliced thinly
A handful sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped roughly
A handful of olives, pitted and chopped roughly
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Black pepper

To serve:

Pomegranate seeds
Pine nuts, toasted
Parsley, chopped
Crumbled feta (optional but highly recommended)

METHOD

Pre heat the oven to 180oC and line a baking tray with tin foil.

Lie the squash, cut side facing upwards, and rub olive oil all over it. Season with salt before putting in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until completely soft.

Meanwhile, cook the rice according to pack instructions in salted water. When it is cooked, drain any remaining water.

Stir chickpeas, spring onions, sun dried tomatoes and olives through the rice. Dress with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

When the squash is cooked, spoon the rice mixture into the middle and scatter generously with the suggested toppings.

Nice served warm, but leftovers make a good cold packed lunch the next day.

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