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Roast Pumpkin (or Squash) and Beetroot with Polenta on Spinach

Pumpkins are not just for Hallowe’en lanterns or masks – along with their close relation the squash they are deliciously soft and rich when roasted, as you’ll find out in this seasonal recipe from Rachel Kenyon. Serves 4.


• A small (30cm diameter) pumpkin or two squashes (ideally of mixed colours)

• Two large beetroot (raw, not precooked)

• Bulb of garlic

• Olive oil

• Fresh thyme and/or tarragon

• Salt and pepper

• 500g fresh spinach

• 350g cooked polenta

To prepare

• Halve the pumpkin/squash, peel if desired, remove seeds and cut into wedges.

• Peel and chop beetroot into 3–5cm cubes.

• Remove outer layers of skin from garlic but leave skin on cloves.

• Place the ingredients in a baking tray and coat with a few tablespoons of olive oil, then add herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

• Bake for 35–45 minutes at 220°C/gas mark 7 until soft, stirring half-way through.

• While baking, slice polenta into 1cm thick strips; allow three per person.

• Heat small amount of oil in a frying pan and fry polenta slices for 1–2 minutes each side, then remove from pan.

• Add spinach to the pan and put a lid on to allow it to wilt over 1–2 minutes.

• Plate the spinach, arrange the polenta on top and serve with the pumpkin/squash, beetroot and garlic cloves.

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