1 large butternut squash
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 ball buffalo mozzarella or burrata cheese, about 125g (optional)
sea salt and black pepper

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Wild Fennel Seeds

SERVES: 3 as a side dish

Fennel grows on the roadside pretty much everywhere around St Tropez. My usual foraging patch is on the way to one of the clothes markets. This dish is really simple and tasty, and full of texture and flavour. Best of all, there’s absolutely no wastage. I usually make it for a healthy weekday lunch and eat it with a fresh green salad.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Top and tail the squash, peel the skin off in long strips and reserve it. Halve the squash widthways and cut the top section into long, chip-like chunks. Cut the rest in half down the middle and scoop out the pulp and discard, reserving the seeds. Cut the flesh into similar-sized pieces. Arrange the squash chunks on one baking tray and the skins and seeds on the other. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and scatter with the fennel seeds. Roast for 18–20 minutes, by which time the skins and seeds should be golden and crisp. Roast the squash for another 30–35 minutes, until golden and tender when poked with a knife. Spoon the roasted squash into a serving bowl and place the seeds and crispy skins on top. Tear the mozzarella or burrata, if using, into pieces and scatter on top. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and
sprinkle with sea salt. Serve warm or cold.