Soy roasted butternut squash, green veg, rice & scallion egg

Although I love sweet vegetables, I enjoy them most when they’re in savoury dishes. I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, I will never understand the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows served at Thanksgiving, and I’ve never been moved to add beetroot to chocolate cake. I enjoy my dinner most when it’s in balance: sweetness bouncing off saltiness bouncing off acidity. This butternut squash is roasted in a deeply savoury sauce that hits all those notes perfectly for me. You don’t want your sauce to evaporate too quickly, so make sure when you roast the squash that you pack it tightly into a baking tin. You will be left with a thick, rich sauce to spoon over your plate. You can make this vegan by leaving out the egg, and switching out the honey for maple syrup. I could eat bucketloads of this kind of food. In fact, I do. 

Soy roasted butternut squash, green veg, rice & scallion egg

Serves 4

½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped however you please
¼ cup soy sauce
1 dsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp runny honey
3 fat cloves of garlic, grated on microplane
3 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ cup water
small head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
½ cup of frozen edamame
300 ml sushi rice
4 eggs, beaten and seasoned with 1-2 tsp of soy sauce
1-2 scallions, finely sliced

Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a 500 ml jug or large bowl, whisk the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger and water together until smooth. 

Arrange the butternut squash in a small, deep roasting dish. Pack it in well so there isn’t too much space, you don’t want the sauce to evaporate too quickly. Pour the sauce over the top, making sure every piece gets covered. 

Roast for 20 minutes and check if it’s cooked by inserting a knife into the thickest piece. It should slide through without resistance and the butternut should look a little candied around the edges.

While the butternut roasts, cook the rice. Wash it in a sieve for at least a minute then transfer to a saucepan. Add 450 ml of cold water, a generous pinch of salt and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil, cook for 13 minutes, then turn the heat off. Leave the pan exactly where it is and let the rice steam, covered, for 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes is up, fluff up with a fork, and put the lid only half way back on so it doesn’t continue to cook.

Add the broccoli to a saucepan with 1 cm water in the bottom. Season with salt and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Put the frozen edamamae into a colander and when the broccoli is finished, drain it over the edamame. 

In a small frying pan, heat a couple of tsp of sesame oil on a medium heat and fry the sliced scallions for a minute or two, or until the bite is gone from them. Pour in the seasoned eggs and scramble together. Cook the eggs how you like them: some like a wetter scramble, some like them super spongy, and some like them somewhere in between. 

Serve the roasted butternut squash with a generous heap of rice, and divide the veg and eggs between each plate. 

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