Recipe: Stuffed squash with jammy figs

A colourful vegetarian main course, side dish or light lunch


This makes a colourful vegetarian main course, side dish or light lunch. Enjoy the variety of squash now in season and so make with whatever variety you can purchase from your supermarket or greengrocer. The best squash to use for this recipe are acorn, butternut squash, red kuri squash, kabocha, hubbard or carnival. I have given a recipe for the jammy figs but ready-made fig jam works well if time is tight.

Serves: 6
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour 40 minutes


● 3 tbsp olive oil
● 6 small round squash
● 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
● 6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
● 2 large carrots, peeled and finely grated
● Bunch of fresh oregano and fresh thyme leaves - picked, plus extra for garnish
● 400g tin artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
● 1 lemon, zest only
● 1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
● 60g unsalted cashew nuts

For the jammy figs: (optional – see above)
● 300g fresh/dried figs – stalks removed
● 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
● 1 tbsp maple syrup/date syrup


● Preheat the oven to 150°C.

● Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

● Brush the squash with a little olive oil and roast for 50 minutes.

● Leave to cool and when cool enough to touch, cut the tops off and carefully scoop out the seedy, stringy flesh and discard. Set aside the empty shells.

● Heat the remaining oil and sauté the onions, garlic, carrots and oregano and thyme for about 5 minutes.

● Add the artichokes, lemon zest, salt, pepper and cashew nuts and stir in well. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

● Stuff the squash shells with the filling mixture and return to the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.

● Meanwhile make the fig jam. Chop the figs and place in a saucepan with the balsamic vinegar, syrup and 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer for 10 minutes until the figs become soft and sticky.

● Serve the stuffed squash with a dollop of fig jam. Garnish with a sprinkling of thyme and oregano leaves.

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