“This wonderful autumnal salad, from my ever-brilliant collaborator Gill Meller, is hot and tender, spicy and aromatic, crisp and raw – the range of textures and flavours is superbly satisfying. And it’s so easy to throw together.”
About 1kg squash, such as a medium butternut or acorn squash, or ½ Crown Prince
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
4–5 bay leaves, roughly torn
2 sprigs of rosemary, roughly torn
A small handful of sage leaves, roughly torn (optional)
1 tsp fennel seeds
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
About 175g Brussels sprouts
2 medium eating apples
25g sunflower seeds (or other seeds of your choice)
Sea salt and black pepper
FOR THE DRESSING
2 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil
2 tsp English mustard
1–2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.
Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds, but don’t remove the peel. Cut into slim wedges, about 2cm wide at the outside edge, and place in a large roasting tray. Trickle over the oil then scatter over the herbs, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper. Turn the pieces of squash over in the oil and seasonings, then place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes until tender and nicely browned in places.
Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Trim the sprouts and remove any damaged or dirty outer leaves then slice very thinly. Add them to the bowl of dressing and mix well, breaking up the layers of sprout a bit as you go.
Quarter the apples, remove the cores and cut each quarter into two or three wedges (again, no need to peel). Set aside.
When the squash is tender and starting to brown, add the apple wedges and stir them in with the squash and seasonings. Return to the oven for about 15 minutes or until the apples are tender but not broken down. Scatter the seeds over the veg and apple for the last few minutes of cooking, so they toast lightly.
Spoon the dressed sprouts over the hot squash and apple wedges, then serve.
Squash: replace the squash with a combination of peeled and roughly chunked-up parsnips and carrots.
Greens: use finely shredded Savoy
cabbage instead of the sprouts.