Whilst we tend to think of pumpkins as coming over the sea from our American cousins, we have in fact been eating squash since the medieval era. Although butternut squash seems to be popular all year round many of the others get ignored, or banished to the realms of inedible jack o’ lanterns.

The chilli flakes in this recipe make it far from medieval but their spicy hit contrast beautifully with the soft, sweet flesh of the baked squash. Eaten on its own with fresh crusty bread - and glass of real ale - this dish makes the perfect vegetarian supper. Committed carnivores might like to top it with some ever so crispy streaky bacon or serve alongside pork chops that can be eaten off the bone. Whichever way this squash platter is a great hit of autumn cheer.


2 -3 small autumn squash. Try miniature Kabocha, Acorn or Carnival.

Cold pressed Yorkshire rapeseed oil

Dried chilli flakes

5 cloves of smoked garlic

10 fresh sage leaves

Black peppercorns

A handful of green, ready to eat pumpkin seeds

Coarse sea salt

Fresh goats curd or crumbly Lancashire cheese


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Carefully, slice your squash into halves, quarters, then eighths – removing the seeds as you go along. Set the seeds aside for use at another time.

Lay the squash in a large roasting tray and drizzle with a little of the rapeseed oil. Scatter on some dried chilli flakes – I find a good tablespoonful works well. Toss everything together so that the squash has an even coating of oil and chilli.

Take your smoked garlic cloves and bash them with the flat edge of your knife. No need to peel. Tuck them amongst the squash along with the sage leaves. Sprinkle the peppercorns over the top.

On a separate baking tray toss the pumpkin seeds with a tiny bit of rapeseed oil and a good shake of sea salt.

Place both trays in the preheated oven. Remove the pumpkin seeds after 15 minutes. Roast the squash for another 45 minutes or until cooked through and crisp around the edges.

Assemble the dish on a large serving platter. Lay out your squash slices, taking care to capture the crispy sage leaves and unctuous garlic. Sprinkle with a few pumpkin seeds. Dot your curd or Lancashire cheese over the top. Finish with more pumpkin seeds before serving.

- Claire Davies is a York food writer with a passion for seasonal ingredients and historic recipes. Her blog, The Greedy Wordsmith, can be found online.