by Rebecca Vincent
In this colourful dish I’m combining two bright stars of the season, butternut squash and sweetcorn.
Sweetcorn is a good source of vitamins C, E, B5 and B1, folic acid, magnesium and phosphorus. It comes in a wide variety of colours including pink, red, black and blue which offer an array of different anti-oxidants, but in the UK the most common is yellow which is high in a carotenoid anti-oxidant called lutein.
Butternut squash, as with most ‘winter’ squashes, is a good source of vitamins C, B1 and B6, folic acid, pantothenic acid, niacin, potassium and dietary fibre.
Sweetcorn strips with harissa and butternut squash dip
2 ears of corn
½ small butternut squash
1 tsp harissa paste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (more if you want a thinner dip)
Juice ½ lemon
Pinch salt and pepper
Optional extras for the dip: feta, yoghurt, mint, chives
Heat the oven to 180 degrees, peel the butternut squash and cut the flesh into similarly-sized cubes. Place the cubes on a baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes until tender, then set aside to cool.
Peel off the outer leaves from the corn and any fibres underneath. Cut a flat base to the first corn, then stand it on that base while very carefully slicing it in half lengthways. Lay the halves flat side down and cut into three equal slices lengthways again, ensuring you keep some of the middle intact, so the kernels don’t fall off the inner layer. Repeat with the second ear of corn.
Coat the slices of corn in a little oil, salt and pepper, then pop in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden and they have curled up slightly.
While the sweetcorn is in the oven, blend the butternut squash with the harissa, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of pepper to form a smooth dip. When the sweetcorn strips are ready, dip them in the butternut squash mix, nibble the kernels off the inner layer and enjoy!
– Rebecca Vincent BSc (Hons) BANT-registered nutritionist; 07515 019430; www.rebeccavincentnutrition.co.uk