Time to Eat Time to Eat by Nadiya Hussain

This squash is cooked whole, with slits cut into it so all the flavor can permeate through. It’s served with a simple burned garlic rice. Sometimes all we want is something hearty with veg, and that is exactly what this is



For the squash:

  • 1 medium butternut squash

  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes

  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice

  • fresh parsley, chopped, to finish

For the Rice

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and sliced

  • 2½ cups basmati rice

  • 1 tablespoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C and have a roasting dish at the ready.

Peel your squash, then take off the top and bottom ends, cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seedy bits. Now, with the cut side of the squash flat against the chopping board, make slits across it horizontally.

Start at the top, working your way down and leaving ¼-inch gaps, ensuring each slit does not go all the way through the squash. Cut each half all the way through lengthwise, so you have 4 individual quarters. Don’t worry if you accidentally cut too far when making the slits —just slide the pieces together when you put them in the roasting dish.

Put the oil, salt, ginger paste, chile flakes, rosemary, cumin, and zest and juice of the lemon into a bowl and mix together really well.

Put the squash in the roasting dish and smother it with the dressing.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Meanwhile, cook the rice. Put the oil and butter into a large pot over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and cook on high heat until it is almost black, stirring occasionally. As soon as it is very dark, take the pan off the heat and stir in the rice and salt.

Have a kettle of boiling water ready by your side. Cook the rice on medium heat for 3 minutes, or until the grains are an opaque white, stirring all the time. Pour in water until it is 1/2 inch above the level of the rice.

Cook the rice on high heat until all the water has been absorbed, stirring to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Then turn the heat right down to the lowest setting, pop the lid on, and let the rice steam for 15 minutes.

Serve everyone some squash and rice, and sprinkle with the fresh parsley. You might like to add some Avocado Pesto to this, or the dressing from the Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Tart.

Any leftover rice can be frozen.

Avocado Pesto

I  have  come  to  quite  like  the  green  stuff.  But  as  a  child,  very  occasionally,  I’d  remove the pit and fill the avocado with sugar — but the texture wasn’t palatable, no matter how much sugar I covered it in. But my goodness, mixed with all sorts of other things, avocado can be transformed, so much so that even my children quite like it.  Versatile enough for toast, a dip to go with nachos, or tossed with hot cooked pasta. Just not with sugar!

Makes 1 Jar  Total Time 15 Minutes


  • 1 small handful of frozen spinach (2 1/2 oz if you want to be precise)

  • 2 small ripe avocados juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes

Put the frozen spinach into the microwave for 1 minute, until it has defrosted.

By hand, squeeze out any excess water, then drop the spinach into a blender. Add the avocado flesh, then straight away add the lemon juice and zest to keep any of the beautiful green avocado from going brown.

Add the oil, garlic, walnuts, salt, and chile flakes and blitz until you have a smooth paste. You might need to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to help it blend.

You can store the pesto in a jar for 1 week in the fridge. The recipe makes enough for a few meals, so you're already ahead. Freeze in a labeled ziplock bag for up to 3 months.

Reprinted from Time To Eat. Copyright © 2019 by Nadiya Hussain. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Chris Terry. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.