Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Butternut Squash and feta pastry

For many of us living in the U.K, the shapely squash like its crown shaped brother, the pumpkin is still a new ingredient to us. Its only in recent times that we have begun to invite it into our homes. It appears in our kitchens on Autumnal days, often welcomed with the invitation of Halloween or Bonfire nights.
(Above: Butternut Squash, Golden Apple Squash and Uchiki Kuri squash). Before discovering my culinary teeth and becoming an adventurous and experimental cook, I recall having had butternut squash twice in my entire life and both times were as savoury dishes - Butternut squash risotto, and a Butternut squash and ricotta pastry. I was not keen on either of them. I thought its sweetness was best suited for American pies, and other sweet bites such as muffins and cakes. Then a year or two later, my approach to this sunset orange fleshed vegetable completely changed and I began to explore its versatility - Thanks to Denis Cotter. I credit Denis Cotter for changing my mind and attitude to both the pumpkin and (butternut) squashes in savoury dishes. Now one of my favourite ways of eating this vegetables is roasted with spiced chickpeas.
Anyway, I decided to revisit the savoury butternut pastry recipe. The only thing I tweaked was to substitute the ricotta with feta cheese. It was a good light snack. The sweetness of the butternut squash complimented the salty robust feta.

As you can see in the photograph above, the sweet and salty filling in my pastry is well exposed. The ready rolled puff pastry I had purchased this time, let me down. It was sticky and just too soft. Despite the filling oozing out, these pastries held well and turned out pretty good. Maybe I should start a new food trend and call them an 'open pastry' (like an open sandwich).
D’s mother had a taste. I don't think she liked it much. She commented on the flavour of the butternut squash ‘its an acquired taste’. I agree with her, it certainly is – but if you let allow it, it may just grow on you.
Recipe for Butternut Squash and feta pastry
I made this recipe with the ingredients I had at home, so cannot remember the exact quantities. I used half a butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes which I then roasted in the oven until soft. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, I crumbled about 100g of feta cheese, with a sprinkling of dried oregano and freshly ground black pepper. I added the cooled butternut squash to it and combined well.
I spread out my ready rolled puff pastry and cut into 6 squares, then filled and formed into a pasty shape of sorts, brushed it with a beaten egg and then baked in the oven at Gas Mark 6 for 20 - 25 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Lovely, mmmmmmmm! And they would make a tasty salad too :)

  2. Oooh, I love Scotland! I hiked through the Western Highlands in 1999 and hope to go again someday.

    Thanks for visting Henbogle, I'll be back to look at some of your enticing recipes, such as this one. We love squash

  3. i love any pastry with feta, these look so yummy!

  4. Oh yes, winter squashes and pumpkin in savory dishes are both marvelous. Your recipe looks delicious! (I do love anything with pastry.)

  5. Lovely!

    I remember when I was living in London (let's not say how long ago...) nobody ate pumpkin then! I was surprised to see that instead it was such a popular vegetable in New Zealand!


  6. They look really tasty. I have already acquired the taste for squashes and think they would go perfectly with pastry and salty cheese.

  7. Thank you for the nice comment about the ornaments. I've been looking at your recipes and I'm anxious to try some. I want to try the Christmas biscuits and the squash and feta in pastry. When we drive to Wisconsin to see our son (in college) we drive by cranberry bogs. Mmmm...

  8. Thanks Jacqueline.
    Actually what a great idea. I have some roasted butternut squahs cubes and may just do that. Now have to decide on the grain, couscous or bulgar wheat?! :)

    Thanks henbogle.
    You must visit north Wales too, its just as beautiful.

    So delighted to read you you are likign the look of some of the recipes here. Please do come back, you will be made to feel most welcome.

    Thank you so much Veggie.
    So lovely to hear from you its been a while.

    Thank you Leigh.
    This recipe is so, so simple :)

    Thank you so much Alessandra.
    Your observations were so right. And isn't it funny that Denis Cotter drew his inspiration for pumpkin and butternut squash after his stint/time in New Zealand!

    Thanks Lou.
    Wonder if your little ones would like the salty flavour of feta. That too is an acquired taste. I won't tell you what i thought it smelled like when I first had it.

    Thank you so much for coming by Deborah.
    It is most appreciated and I really did mean what I wrote about your ornaments.

    I envy the fact that you get to see cranberry bogs - I've never ever seen them for real, only in TV documentaries. Amazing stuff.

  9. This looks amazing! Butternut is my favorite squash and feta is one of my favorite cheese so it's definitely a winning combo ;).

  10. Now that does look yum esp with the feta. I usually have squash as a shak (curry) cooked with nigella seeds/onions/gingergarlic paste and spices. But this sound very intriguing. How do you think it would work out as a pasta?

  11. Thanks Charlie.
    Your just too kind :)

    Plummy Mummy.
    I've had squash in a Thai curry, but never in an Indian style one. I think I must give that a go.

    I think it would go better with grains: couscous and bulgar than pasta. But if I was to make it with pasta, I would probably add a pinch of chilli flakes. Your taste buds may take you down a different route.

  12. I really love squashes roasted in the oven. Here, we have only one sort of them. "Giraumon" in french a kind of pumpkin
    I usually have squash and feta in salad

  13. Thank you Cuisine Framboise.
    There are so many varieties of squash and pumpkin. I have not heard of "Giraumon".
    I have not had the opportunity to have squash in a salad. I will soon.


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