An easy recipe that always impresses – roasted squash filled with lightly spiced rice. Small squash are great for this but if you can’t find them, use one normal size squash instead. Mini squash can be used, but they need to be large enough to be baked in halves and then stuffed, because that way they cook really well. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice mixture that you can get at large supermarkets, or you could use equal quantities of ground cumin and coriander instead.
Cut the squash in half through their stems. Scoop out the seeds, then rub the cut surfaces of the squash with garlic and salt.
Place the squash cut-side down on a well oiled baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven, 200°C, 400o F, Gas Mark 6, for 30 minutes, or until the squash can easily be pierced with the point of a knife.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Bring saucepan of water to the boil, add the rice and bring back to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 8–10 minutes, or until the rice is tender but still has some resistance.
Plump the raisins by soaking them in boiling water for 2–3 minutes. Drain the rice. Reserve a couple of tablespoons for decoration. Return the rest to the pan with the butter, ras el hanout, turmeric and lemon juice and mix well. Drain the raisins and add to the rice, along with the chopped olives and coriander. Taste and season with salt.
Turn the squash so that they are cavity-side uppermost, then fill the cavities with rice mixture, heaping it up. Sprinkle some of the saved, plain basmati rice on top to garnish.
Serve immediately, or cover with foil and keep warm in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
Taken from Rose Elliot's Sumptuous Suppers, published by Hamlyn.