1 butternut squash
freshly ground black pepper
1 small dried red chilli
1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
20 slices quality prosciutto or Parma ham
4 handfuls rocket
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small block pecorino or Parmesan cheese
This is one of those easy salads with a twist. You may have tried a Parma ham, rocket and Parmesan salad with a little balsamic, but by adding warm roasted squash and trying it with pecorino, which is slightly smoother than Parmesan, it’s a real pleasure and even feels a bit posh.
Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Carefully cut your butternut squash in half, keeping the seeds intact. Remove the two ends and discard them. Cut each half into quarters and lay in a roasting tray. Rub with a little olive oil. In a pestle and mortar pound up a flat teaspoon each of salt, pepper and your chilli and coriander seeds. Scatter this over the squash. Roast the squash for half an hour or until soft and golden. Allow to cool a little.
Lay your prosciutto on 4 plates — let it hang over the rim of the plates and encourage it to twist and turn so it doesn’t look neat and flat. Tear up your warm squash and put it in and around the ham. Sprinkle over the seeds and the rocket. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic, add a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, and use a vegetable peeler to shave over the Pecorino. Easily done.