While some of the ingredients here sound specific, this is simply a delicious warm salad which can be rustled up effortlessly and quickly with what’s left in the fridge… The prosciutto could be a few rashers of left-over bacon, the rye could be any bread that’s going spare, and the manchego might be any other hard cheese shaved, or softer cheese crumbled. What’s great about this ‘salad’ is that it’s a one-tray-wonder for the oven, and, of course, lining with greaseproof paper makes the whole process quicker still!
I love to keep the skin on and the seeds in when roasting squash as this adds a wonderful diversity of textures. The addition of honey to the roasting process helps to caramelise the sugars in the squash further, making it sweeter and stickier, which works so well with the salty prosciutto and manchego. The roasted squash seeds and the crunchy rye crumb (which I added initially as I had one sorry slice of rye bread begging to be used!) are a fabulous contrast to the velvety soft flesh of the roasted squash.
The quantities for this are far from a science, intuition will dictate! Half a large butternut squash will be sufficient for two people, just.
½ butternut squash (the seed end)
a few sprigs of rosemary
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon of tasteless oil for roasting
salt and pepper
rye bread (roughly 1 slice per person)
prosciutto (roughly 2 slices per person)
manchego, for shaving
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 200°.
Wash and dry the butternut squash, then chop into evenly sized wedges. I tend to draw the seeds out from the fibrous strands of the flesh slightly, as I like to sprinkle these over the salad after roasting, but leaving them put is perfect too.
Strip the rosemary from its stalks and finely chop.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Toss the butternut in the honey, roasting oil, chopped rosemary, freshly grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper; this can be done in a separate mixing bowl, or simply on the lined tray to save washing up.
Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, also throw the rye bread into the oven, on a separate shelf, to toast for approximately 5 minutes. Once toasted slightly (it will go back into the oven in a minute), run your knife through it achieving a rough breadcrumb texture.
Turn down the heat to 180° and continue roasting the squash for another 10 minutes.
5 minutes before the end of cooking, scatter the rye crumbs over the squash, and tear and drape the prosciutto over too. Return to the oven until the prosciutto is crispy and the rye crumbs crunchy.
Enjoy warm with some shaved manchego, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and a tiny teaspoon or two of cider vinegar to brighten everything. Hearty, warming and perfect for this time of year.