Super simple, yet utterly delicious, my easy peasy Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash side dish is the perfect accompaniment to curries, chillies and tagines. A great way to get more vegetables, nutrition and deliciousness into your diet with very little effort!
What to do with the bottom half of a butternut squash?
I’ll be straight up and honest with you – this recipe came about because I needed to do something with the bottom half of a butternut squash! I often make recipes which call for half a butternut squash – and of course, like most people I imagine, I use the top half of the butternut squash and the bottom half ends up languishing at the back of the fridge… often I am ashamed to say until it goes mouldy and has to be thrown away.
Well not any more – this Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash recipe was, quite literally, MADE for the bottom half of a butternut squash! The result is so delicious, I think I might end up with the opposite problem in future.
Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
So I started out with a vague plan to do a veggie side dish to go alongside my Yellow Split Pea and Spinach Dhal… to use up that half a butternut squash languishing at the back of my fridge and to add some extra interest to the dhal recipe. But I felt that my butternut squash needed a partner and the most obvious candidate was cauliflower. Cauliflower goes so well with curry flavours. I often do cumin roasted cauliflower to go alongside a curry, so adding butternut squash into the mix seemed like an obvious next step.
The butternut squash is sliced (see below) and the cauliflower cut into florets. Then I toss them both in a simple mixture of olive oil, sea salt and whole cumin seeds, spread them out on a large baking tray and roast in a hot oven for 30 minutes. The result is utterly delicious and the perfect side dish to my Yellow Split Pea and Spinach Dhal.
How to prepare the lower half of a butternut squash
Preparing the lower half of a butternut squash is not nearly as daunting as it first appears. Simply cut the butternut squash in half vertically, scoop out the seeds using a dessert spoon or similar. (Top tip – scoop out slightly below the seeds – you lose a little of the flesh, but the result is much cleaner). Finally cut thick slices – about 1.5-2cm (½ to ¾ of an inch) thick.
And don’t even think about peeling the skin off. It’s a complete faff and totally unnecessary. The skin is perfectly edible, once roasted. And if you really don’t like it – it’s much easier to peel off when the butternut squash has been roasted, so do it then.
Honestly – this little bit of prep takes 5 minutes tops – and so worth it, both for a delicious side dish AND for reducing food waste!
What to serve with Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash?
This recipe was MADE to go with my Yellow Split Pea and Spinach Dhal – so that would be the obvious choice here.
But these cumin roasted veggies are so versatile, they would go with any cuisine that pairs well with cumin – it makes the perfect side dish alongside any curry or dhal, but also chillies and other Tex-Mex and Mexican inspired dishes, and of course it’s great with tagines and other Middle Eastern dishes too.
In fact, this veggie side dish is so substantial, you could even serve it as a light main course – along with a side salad and maybe some hummus and/or some roasted sweet potato cubes and/or pittas.
Alternatively, you could serve these cumin roasted vegetable as part of an Indian themed starter, with pickles, chutneys, a raita, onion bhajis and poppadoms and/or chapattis.
What to drink with Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash?
To a large extent, this will depend on what you are serving these veggies with. I would always advise checking out the wine recommendations for the main course, rather than a side dish, in the first instance.
However, if you are serving these veggies as a main course, or along side my Yellow Split Pea and Spinach Dhal, I recommend serving a light aromatic white, such as an Alsace or New Zealand Riesling, or an Italian Pinot Grigio, or a dry fruity Rosé from somewhere like the South of France or Spain. If it has to be red for you, go for something soft and juicy like a Chilean Merlot.
Can you reheat Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash?
Yes! It’s really easy to reheat these cumin roasted veggies. Simply place any leftover cauliflower and butternut squash in a plastic lidded container. They will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
When you come to reheat them, preheat your oven to 220C (200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F). Place the veggies in the hot oven for 10 minutes, or until piping hot all the way through.
Can you freeze Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash?
You can… they will go a little bit softer in texture – but they will still taste good! To freeze, place the veggies in a plastic lidded container and freeze, as soon as they have cooled down to room temperature.
They will keep in the freezer for at least a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight and then reheat as above. (You can probably reheat from frozen, but I haven’t tested this, so can’t be 100% sure… but I don’t see why not! You’d just need to add on an extra 5-10 mins to the reheating time.)
If you like my Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash…
… then you might like:
Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
- ½ large butternut squash (ideally the bottom half)
- 1 small cauliflower (or half a large one)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt (ideally coarse sea salt)
- Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F.
- Cut the butternut squash in half vertically, scoop out the seeds and cut into slices – roughly 1.5cm (½ inch) thick.
- Break the cauliflower up into florets
- Place the vegetables on a large non-stick oven tray – large enough so the vegetables can be spread out in a single layer – otherwise they will steam and not roast (use two oven trays if need be).
- Drizzle over the olive oil and scatter over the cumin and sea salt. Turn the vegetables in the oil and then spread out again.
- Place the tray in your preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes or until soft and gently browned, turning halfway.
- Serve as a side dish with a curry, chilli or tagine. Alternatively serve as part of an Indian themed starter.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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