Friday, 4 February 2011

Beetroot and Squash Fondant Stacks

I have no idea why this technique of cooking vegetables is called fondant as it's nothing to do with fondants used in confectionary making. However it is a very tasty way to cook the vegetables, halfway between steaming and roasting. While the traditional vegetables to cook in the fondant style is potatoes, it works very nicely with butternut squash and beetroot.

Ingredients:

  • 2 beetroot
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 600ml boiling water
  • 150g block of feta, sliced in half to make it thinner then in half to make almost square pieces

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Peel the beetroot and butternut squash and cut into thick slices, about 2 cm thick. Remove the seeds (and gunky stuff around the seeds) from inside the butternut squash.
  3. Carefully run a knife around the edges of the slices of beetroot and squash. You want to remove the sharp edge from both sides of the slices. If you don't do this then the edges will burn before the rest of the surface starts to brown.
  4. Don't worry about some of the butternut squash slices having holes where the seeds were.
  5. Once you've removed the edges you should have several slices with rounded edges all around.
  6. Place the slices into deep roasting tins, you'll probably need two tins.
  7. Mix up the boiling water, oil and stock cubes in a jug.
  8. Split the oily stock between the roasting tins and place in the oven.
  9. Every 15 minutes check on the slices in the oven. You'll want to turn the slices and baste them (use a spoon to pour some of the stock over the tops of the slices) to make sure they cook evenly.
  10. After about an hour most of the stock will have evaporated and the slices should be starting to brown nicely. The beetroot slices can be hard to see the browning on, so it's best to just judge on what the butternut squash slices are doing.
  11. When the slices are lightly browned, remove them from the oven and build them up into four stacks. Build the stacks directly on the plates you're going to serve from. It's best to alternate butternut squash and beetroot slices. You'll also probably find that some of the beetroot fits nicely inside the holes in the butternut squash slices.
  12. Finish off the top of each stack with a slice of the feta cheese.

Serves 2 people (two stacks each).

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