Baked spinach and cheese stuffed gem squash

Preparation time : 10 min Cooking time : 1 hr
  • 4 gem squash, halved
  • 1 leek / onion, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 4 handful spinach or Swiss chard
  • 1 handful basil
  • 1 freshly boiled kettle of water
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp butter
  • salt & black pepper

Put a large pot of salted water on a medium-high and bring to the boil. Add the gem squash halves, cover and cook for around 15 minutes, until the flesh is tender. While the gem squash is cooking, place a frying pan on a medium-high heat with a splash of olive oil and saute the leeks until tender and just golden. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the squash from the water, drain and set aside to cool slightly.

Place the spinach and basil in a colander over the sink and pour the boiling water over it. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes to drain and cool slightly. Using your hands, squeeze out the excess water, place the wilted spinach and basil on a chopping board and roughly chop.

Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh into a medium-sized bowl and place the skins on a baking sheet. Add the chopped wilted spinach and basil, 3/4 of the feta and 3/4 of the cheddar cheese to the bowl along with the gem squash flesh. Season with salt and black pepper and mix well. Stuff each of the squash shells with the spinach, top each squash with half a teaspoon of butter and sprinkle over the remaining feta and cheddar. Roast for about 45 minutes until bubbly and melted.

This recipe is an extract from The Isolated Kitchen by Nicky Barber.