Roasted onion squash, beetroot, mozzarella and basil oil

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Onion squash comes into season, in late August, early September. I roast it with the skin on. Its flavour is rich, just slightly sweet and quite complex, and works well with the earthy flavour of beetroot.

8 small beetroot
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
5tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion squash
1 dried red chilli
1 small bunch of marjoram
4 balls of buffalo mozzarella
2tbsp of balsamic vinegar

For the basil oil

1 large bunch of basil
60ml/2¼fl oz of extra virgin olive oil
A good pinch of sea salt

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Wash and pat dry the beetroot, place in a roasting tray, season and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat the beetroot. Cover with foil and place in the oven.

Roast for 45 minutes or until the beetroot is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove, allow to cool slightly then slice in half lengthways. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

Slice the onion squash in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and cut each half into quarters. Lay in a baking tray. Crumble over the chilli and marjoram, add some salt and olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, until tender. Remove to cool.

For the basil oil, remove the stalks from the basil and place the leaves with the oil and salt in a blender. Blitz until you have a lovely, sludgy verdant purée.

To assemble, arrange the pumpkin and beetroot on a plate and lay the mozzarella on top. Spoon over the basil oil and drizzle over the balsamic. Serve immediately.

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