Christmas Leftovers? Squash, Stilton and Quince Tart – 410 calories a portion

Continuing my theme of working through the Christmas Leftovers…. I had one of those serendipitous moments when I picked up a cookbook (Ottolenghi’s Plenty More, a welcome Christmas gift), opened a page at random and realised that I had all the ingredients that I needed. Of course I couldn’t resist making some little changes… a little less oil, a little less richness by reducing the cream and quantity of cheese. So his Membrillo and Stilton Quiche has become Squash, Stilton and Quince Tart  (too many Ss and Qs to leave it called Quiche…).

Squash, Stilton and Quince Tart

Continuing with my current passion for making my own pastry, I rustled up some light and crumbly shortcrust – but you can use ready made and it will still taste good.

I used butternut squash, which has been waiting for me to find an inspiring recipe, but you could use any kind of pumpkin or winter squash. I may try something similar with other vegetables like beetroot. In fact, the idea of a roasted vegetable and blue cheese crustless quiche has me rather excited now…

If you have a chunk of Stilton left, that is perfect for this. Actually I was surprised at how mellow it became after cooking, perhaps because I am more accustomed to using Roquefort as a blue cheese, which is indeed a good deal more tangy. That or any strong blue cheese would make acceptable alternatives.

Perhaps you are lucky enough to have your own Quinces and have made yourself some Quince Paste or Jelly or Cheese, or have been given some for Christmas? I find it keeps well for months in the fridge, but it also freezes well. You may find it in the Spanish section of a store as Membrillo, or in French it is called Pate de Coing. If you don’t have any you could perhaps substitute some other thick fruit jelly or I thought of using some chunks of stoned dates. Failing that, some chunks of peeled pear could be an interesting match, but the sticky sweetness of the quince paste does work beautifully.

Spinach, Fennel and Pomegranate Salad

I served it with a lively ‘tricolour’ salad of young Spinach leaves with finely shredded Fennel and topped with Pomegranate Seeds, drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. 

Absolutely delicious seasonal fare. Each serving only 410 calories for the tart and 72 for the salad, so this could even be a meal on a fast day.

Squash, Stilton and Quince Tart with Spinach, Fennel and Pomegranate Salad

So with thanks to Ottolenghi, here is my version of Squash, Stilton and Quince Quiche:-

Squash, Stilton and Quince Tart
Serves 6
A luscious mixture of mellow blue cheese and sumptuous quince jelly adorns the golden cubes of squash in this festive season tart.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 500g butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and deseeded
For the pastry
  1. 150g plain flour
  2. 75g unsalted butter
  3. ½ tsp salt
  4. extra flour for rolling out
For the filling
  1. 125g Blue Stilton Blue Cheese, crumbled
  2. 50g Quince Paste (or Membrillo), cut into small cubes
  3. 125ml Creme Fraiche
  4. 125ml milk
  5. 3 eggs
  6. sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200c (fan).
  2. Cut the squash into smallish cubes, about 2cm, spread on a baking tray and toss in the olive oil.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning half way, until soft and starting to brown at the edges, then leave aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the pastry.
  5. Chop the butter into the flour and salt and then rub together until like breadcrumbs.
  6. Add enough cold water to just form a dough.
  7. Roll out thinly in a floured surface and transfer to a lightly greased or non stick 24cm flan dish.
  8. Leave to chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  9. Turn the oven down to 180c (fan).
  10. Cover the pastry with baking parchment and beans and blind bake for about 10 minutes, then remove the paper and bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes until lightly cooked.
  11. Whisk the eggs with the cream and milk and season to taste.
  12. Distribute the squash over the pastry, then the stilton and pieces of quince jelly and pour over the egg mixture.
  13. Bake for about 40 minutes until set and golden.
  14. Serve warm.
Notes
  1. I found that 250ml of liquid and 3 eggs was a little too much for my 25cm flan dish, but I have left this quantity in case yours is a little deeper.
  2. You could add some herbs to the baking squash to vary the flavour.
  3. Try some chopped stoned dates if you don't have any quince paste.
  4. Some chopped walnuts or pine nuts would make an interesting crunchy addition.
  5. The calorie count for this recipe card is somewhat different from my own calculations. I'm not sure why!
Adapted from Membrillo and Stilton Quiche by Ottolenghi
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/

Roast Pumpkin and Glazed Walnut Salad <200 kcals

Roast Pumpkin and Glazed Walnut Salad

Roast Pumpkin and Glazed Walnut Salad

Glorious colour to brighten up a dull day. This would be very good with some bacon lardons running through it, or topped with chopped feta or blue cheese or slices of taleggio. You could also dress it with toasted pumpkin seeds.  As an alternative to pumpkin, use butternut squash

Serves 2

  • 300g pumpkin, peeled and cubed 102 kcals
  • 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil 62 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar 3 kcals
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 25g walnut pieces 155 kcals
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 52 kcals
  • 2 tbsp walnut or cider vinegar 6 kcals
  • 75g rocket leaves 19 kcals

Preheat the oven to 180c (fan).

Put the cubes of pumpkin on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 25 – 30 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and starting to brown.

Heat the maple syrup and vinegar in a small pan until they are well combined then toss the walnut pieces in to coat thoroughly.

Dress the rocket with the pumpkin and walnuts, drizzling over any remaining dressing.

Serve warm.

Per serving: kcals 199
Carbs 22g Fat 12g Protein 6g

Caribbean Butternut Squash Soup – 120 calories per serving

As the last of the summer vegetables get turned into ratatouille, my thoughts turn to warming winter soups and stews to see us through more chilly fast days.

One of my favourites is a spicy soup based on pumpkin or butternut squash, full of Caribbean sunshine.

butternut squash soup

Caribbean Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
Bring a touch of Caribbean sunshine to cool autumn or winter days with this colourful and spicy soup.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 10g unsalted butter
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 1 leek, chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  5. 2.5cm piece of root ginger, finely chopped
  6. 500g butternut squash
  7. 1 litre vegetable stock
  8. 2 tsp hot curry powder
  9. ½ tsp ground ginger
  10. ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  11. Sea salt
  12. Freshly ground black pepper
To serve
  1. 1 tbsp chopped coriander or parsley
  2. 1 tbsp crème fraiche
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large pan.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute without browning.
  3. Add the spices, stir then add chopped leek, squash and stock.
  4. Bring to the boil, stir and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until squash is soft.
  5. Add seasoning to taste.
  6. Serve sprinkled with chopped herbs and a swirl of cream.
Notes
  1. This recipe works equally well with any kind of winter squash, such as pumpkin or butternut. If you blend it until smooth it is creamy and luxurious, or if you leave it slightly chunky it seems wholesome and earthy.
Adapted from A Carriacou Cookbook by Rosamond Cameron
Adapted from A Carriacou Cookbook by Rosamond Cameron
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/

Baked Orange Chicken with Pumpkin, Parsnips and Peppers

The idea here is to have the enjoyment of a roast chicken, but by using orange juice instead of fat and having other veggies instead of potatoes, the whole meal is lighter and healthier. When there are just the 2 of us for lunch, I can get several meals from an average sized bird, plus then there’s the bones to make stock with for a tasty soup.

a great alternative to a Sunday Roast - Baked Orange Chicken with Pumpkin, Parsnip and Peppers

a great alternative to a Sunday Roast – Baked Orange Chicken with Pumpkin, Parsnip and Peppers

Serves 4
325 calories per serving, 22g carb, 28g protein

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lime
  • 500g pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1 med-large parsnip
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tbsp jerk seasoning
  • 1 tsp Bisto gravy powder (optional)
  • 300 ml vegetable stock or water

Heat the oven to 180C.

Remove any visible fat from the chicken.

Peel the pumpkin or squash, the parsnip and the red onion. Trim the pepper and  chilli and remove the seeds and pith. Cut all the veggies into wedges and put into a roasting tray.

Make slivers from some of the orange and lime peel (no pith) and reserve. Lightly grate the remainder over the veggies. Squeeze the juice of the fruits and pour half over the veggies. Put the chicken on top and brush the remainder of the juice over. Rub in the jerk seasoning.

Bake for 1 to 1.5 hours, until the chicken is cooked through, basting regularly with the juice.

Put the chicken to rest on a warm serving plate and keep the veggies warm while you make the gravy.

If there is any visible fat in the pan juices, strain it off. Add stock or water to the pan together with the orange and lime rind. I like to use a little Bisto mixed with water to make the gravy a little thicker, but it will have a good colour anyway from the jerk spices. Bring to the boil and simmer for few minutes whilst steaming other veggies to serve with it, such as julienne carrots, broccoli spears and peas.

Serve slices or portions of meat without skin, the wonderful coloured vegetables alongside and gravy with some of the peel to bring the whole dish together.

You could use sweet potato or beetroot instead of parsnip.

Based on a recipe in an old Good Housekeeping cookery club book “Healthy Eating”, 1995.