For ladies who lunch
January blues have hit and I'm feeling the effects of one too many Christmas chocolates around my middle. I can't bear the thought of diets, but am very happy to indulge in some fresh and tasty alternatives to the cold weather winter stodge. Nick came home with a couple of packs of reduced to clear figs, knowing that I adore them and would put them to good use. I have made cakes and ice cream with them in the past, but I fancied a tasty healthy supper to accompany my white wine, I know, not great on the calories, but some things I am not prepared to give up! This dish is perfect for lunchtime or a late supper as it is not too heavy yet surprisingly filling, it also has a sweetness to it to take away my need for chocolate. I am going to cook this for a girl's night as I know all my friends would love it, Farmer Nick on the other hand took one look and was glad to be off to the pub with his friends for dinner!
Ingredients for 2 to 3 people
1 medium butternut squash
4 ripe fresh figs, skinned and quartered
Small bunch of spring onions chopped
3 sticks of celery chopped
1 red pepper cut into large chunks
100g dried noodles cooked and drained
Feta cheese chunks
Oregano, salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Peel and chop the butternut squash, place a couple of tablespoons of good olive oil in a roasting tin and add the chunks. Scatter with sea salt, black pepper and oregano and roast for 15 minutes.
Remove the veg from the oven, shake and add chopped celery and pepper pieces, return to oven and cook for a further 10 minutes until all the veg are just soft.
Meanwhile make the balsamic glaze by placing 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons water and a teaspoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Simmer for about 3 - 5 minutes to reduce and reserve for serving.
Cook the noodles on the hob in plenty of fresh boiling water for 3 minutes and drain.
Place the lettuce on the base of the plate, add the warm noodles, then roasted veg. Scatter the feta, olives and chopped spring onion over the top and place the fig quarters round the edge. Finish by drizzling the balsamic glaze over the top.
Enjoy your healthy feast with friends and a cheeky glass of wine!
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