Butternut Squash Falafel

Butternut Squash Falafel (11)

Whilst hunting for a job, I have found myself with a bit of time on my hands.  There are useful things I could be doing with this time (there are still some bits and bobs rattling around the bottom of my suitcase, waiting to find new homes), but instead I have prioritised Game of Thrones.  I watched the first two episodes about a year and a half ago, and refused to go any further.  There was just too much incest and beheading for my liking.  And too much suspense and peril too:  in most programmes there’s a degree of certainty that at least one of the main characters is safe from death, and I like that – I like knowing that it’s safe to invest in a character.  In Game of Thrones, however, it seems like all bets are off and this makes me very nervous indeed.

Butternut Squash Falafel (15)

Perhaps I’m a hardier sort than I was last year, because I have made it past episode two this time.  I thought I was getting to grips with the violence, until I saw a horse get decapitated and a man take a dagger to the face, and I was once again peeking between my fingers at the screen.  Yet still I persevere:  the fantasy setting is right up my alley, the plotting and scheming are brilliant, and Arya and Tyrion are amazing and had better not meet gruesome ends.

And when I occasionally peek out from behind my cushion and am not too nauseous from the blood and gore, I enjoy a nice home-cooked snack while I’m watching.  These falafel make a nice little lunch, with the roasted squash bringing a deeper flavour and mixing merrily with the usual spices.

Butternut Squash Falafel

Makes 9-12 falafel, from Alice Hart’s Vegetarian

Ingredients:

500g butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tin chickpeas, drained

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

handful fresh coriander leaves

Method:

Butternut Squash Falafel (2)

1.  Preheat the oven to 200C.  Place the butternut squash in a roasting tin, toss to coat in the oil and season well.  Roast for 35 minutes, then set aside to cool slightly.

Butternut Squash Falafel (3)

2.  Place the remaining ingredients in a blender and whizz until they form a paste.

Butternut Squash Falafel (4)

3.  Mash the cooled butternut with a fork.

Butternut Squash Falafel (5)

4.  Add the chickpea mixture to the butternut, and mix together.  Place it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Butternut Squash Falafel (7)

5.  Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place spoonfuls of the mixture on it.

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6.  Cook for 20 minutes.

Butternut Squash Falafel (9)

7.  You could serve this with a yoghurt dip – mix together half a small tub of 0% Greek yoghurt, 1/4 cucumber (grated), a squeeze of lemon juice and seasoning.

Butternut Squash Falafel (12)

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