I watched Jamie Oliver on tv when he was just starting out, and loved his attitude to cooking. However, his books didn’t do it for me.
Recently though, Jamie has shot up in my estimation – his efforts in sticking his neck out re school dinners and free range chickens marks him out as a worthy individual.
I really wish he would tell Sainsbury’s to shove their £1.2 million/year contract though. I don’t think he truly believes supermarkets are a force for good in this world.
I did catch a couple of episodes of Jamie’s latest tv series whilst mooching around the UK Food channel and was delighted on its emphasis on fresh veg straight from the garden. So much so, I shelled out £12.50 on Amazon and the beautifully presented tome arrived last week.
I’ve made the red onion gravy described in his Bubble & squeak and sausage recipe, but the only other thing I’ve managed to rustle up and try out were the butternut squash muffins. If you like carrot cake, or have ventured as far as Nigella’s courgette cake, you’re really going to love these delights. They’re really simple to make. I found the recipe used a lot of flour and sugar for the amount specified – you should get about 16-18 muffins out of this, really. I also decided to opt out of the “frosty top” cream topping – I think the muffins really do stand on their own feet flavour-wise.
400g butternut squash, skin on, deseeded and roughly chopped
350g light soft brown sugar
4 large free-range eggs (ours are from happy organic chicken is East Lothian!)
300g plain flour, unsifted
2 heaped tsp baking powder
a handful of walnuts (we omitted these)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
175ml extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 180 celsius and line muffin tin with paper cases.
Whiz squash in food processor until finely chopped. Add sugar, and crack in the eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients in order and whiz together until well beaten. Don’t overdo the mixing or this will make the muffins too heavy.
Fill the cases with the mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes. Voila!
Fancy checking out the rest of Jamie’s great veg based recipes? – buy the book here
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