Autumn 2023

Whole Baked Baby Squash with Cheddar, Cream & Oats By Joe Woodhouse

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Serving: 4 people


1–1.2kg (2lb 4oz–2lb 10oz) onion (red kuri) squash (about 2 squash)

200g (7oz) Cheddar, coarsely grated

200g (7oz) crème fraiche

100g (3 ½ oz) rolled oats

2 tablespoons olive oil

Maldon Salt

black pepper


20g ( ¾ oz) capers

50g (1 ¾ oz parsley

40g (1 ½ oz) gherkins or cornichons

100–125ml (3 ½ –4 ½ fl oz) olive oil


Joe Woodhouse; talented Food & Drink Photographer and Cookbook author of ‘More Daily Veg‘ brings us the comforting dish of whole baked baby squash – perfect with a cold, damp autumn day.

When Joe visited Wilding Cider in Chew Magna, North Somerset, run by Beccy and Sam Leach, Sam made this vegetarian dish for their supper. The pair used to run the restaurant Birch in Bristol before setting their sights on cider making.

This simple but warming dish is a perfect foil to coming in from a cold and drizzly day in an orchard. They sat in the barn, swapping ciders and wines for everyone to taste with a roasting fire going in the wood burner.

Joe added a green sauce to cut the richness a bit, but if you get a good-quality sharp Cheddar, it doesn’t need it!

Here is how to make the whole baked baby squash…

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F), Gas Mark 6. With a small knife, cut the tops off the squash in a circular motion to form caps. Scoop out and compost the seeds.
  2. Mix together the cheese, crème fraiche and oats, and add a good couple of pinches of Maldon Salt and a healthy few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Fill the squash with the oat mixture. Replace their lids. Rub each all over with a tablespoon of oil, place on a tray and bake for 25–35 minutes until a knife pierces the flesh easily.
  4. Meanwhile, blend all the sauce ingredients together with salt and pepper. For a coarser sauce, hand chop everything and mix with the oil, which is equally as good, if not better.
  5. Serve the squash with a salad, maybe a few potatoes to make it into a main. Add the sauce on the side and a good bottle of cider, from Wilding preferably!

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