Quail with roasted pumpkin and chimichurri

Serves 4

The sweet, slightly caramel flavour of the roasted squash works well alongside the sticky succulence of the birds, while the chimichurri adds just a little kick.

Chimichurri is actually an Argentinian marinade for beef, but I like to spoon it over all sorts of things. It is best made on the day of using, so that its vibrant taste remains strong and clear.

1 orange-fleshed squash
A drizzle of olive oil
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
Sea salt
1 tbsp oregano, leaves only

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then slice into half-inch slices. Place in a bowl and pour over the olive oil. Crumble over the chilli and add the salt and oregano. Toss together well, then arrange in a roasting tin and roast for 30 minutes – turning once during the cooking time to prevent the squash from sticking to the base and burning.

For the chimichurri

1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 red chilli, as finely chopped as possible
1 small bunch of oregano
1 small bunch of thyme
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
1 tsp sea salt
200ml/7fl oz olive oil

While the squash is roasting, make the sauce. Place the paprika, garlic, chilli and vinegar in a bowl. Pound the herbs together in a pestle and mortar until broken and bruised, then add the salt and olive oil. Stir everything together well, and set aside.

Arrange the warm squash onto a plate and lay the quail on top. Lastly, spoon over the chimichurri and serve.

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