Our first taste

Our first taste


From earthy pumpkin to sweet butternut, winter squash is a seasonal gem — brighten up your autumn with these simple and delicious recipes

Warm squash & spinach salad (V)

Make this satisfying salad using either pumpkin or butternut ­— you don’t even have to peel it!

Serves 4 • Ready in 30 mins 

  • 700g butternut squash (or pumpkin), cut into 1cm-thick slices, small seeds reserved 
  • 5 tbsp Co-op extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 medium slices crusty bread, torn into small pieces
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ tbsp Co-op clear honey 
  • 125g bag Co-op baby spinach 
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Handful mint leaves, torn
  • 80g Co-op Greek Feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7 and line a large baking tray. Spread the squash in a single layer on the tray, scattering the squash seeds on top. Drizzle with 1½ tbsp of the olive oil, season and roast for 10 mins. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix the crushed garlic with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, season and dip in the torn bread. Take the squash out of the oven, scatter the bread on top and roast for 12-15 mins more, until the squash is tender and the croutons are crisp. 
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the lemon zest and juice in a large bowl with the honey and remaining olive oil, then season. Add the warm squash and croutons to the bowl, then toss through the spinach, herbs and Feta to serve.

Squash & pancetta risotto

Toasted squash seeds and crisp pancetta add a nice crunchy topping to this comforting dish

Serves 4 • Ready in 30 mins

  • 2 x 100g packs Co-op diced pancetta
  • 2 tbsp Co-op olive oil
  • 700g butternut squash (or pumpkin), peeled and cut into 1cm chunks, small seeds reserved
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 260g Co-op Italian risotto rice
  • 1 chicken stock cube 
  • 50g Co-op unsalted butter
  • 60g Co-op parmesan wedge, grated, plus extra to serve
  • 8 small rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp Co-op Italian mascarpone
  1. Fry the pancetta with 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for 8-10 mins, adding the squash seeds halfway through, until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. 
  2. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and fry the onion for 2-3 mins, until just starting to soften. Turn up the heat and stir in the rice, squash and stock cube. Add enough boiling water to cover the ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, only adding more water once the rest has been absorbed. Cook until the rice is just tender — this will take around 15-17 mins and you’ll need about 1.5 litres of water in total.
  3. Stir in the butter, parmesan and rosemary. Season and loosen with a little more water if necessary (it should have a loose texture that settles after it’s stirred, but shouldn’t be too wet). Serve topped with the mascarpone, crisp pancetta and squash seeds, and extra parmesan.

Honeyed pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (V)

These spiced cookies are flavoured with pumpkin purée — it may sound fancy, but you can buy it canned or just make it yourself following our easy recipe online (see below)

Makes 12 • Ready in 30 mins, plus chilling and cooling 

  • 80g pumpkin (or butternut squash) purée
  • 130g Co-op unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsp Co-op clear honey 
  • 200g Co-op plain white flour
  • 120g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 cardamom pods, black seeds finely crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 100g Co-op milk chocolate chips
  • 1½ tbsp pumpkin seeds (optional)
  1. Whisk the pumpkin purée with the butter and honey in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then mix into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon, taking care not to over-mix. 
  2. Add the chocolate chips and continue to mix until everything is just incorporated — you may want to knead the dough briefly with your hands. Chill for at least 20 mins, or preferably a few hours (up to 24 hours ahead of baking). 
  3. Preheat the oven to 170˚C/fan 150˚C/gas 3 and line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Use an ice cream scoop to portion mounds of dough, about 50-55g each, onto the trays, spaced well apart (you can also freeze the dough at this stage). Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top (if using). 
  4. Bake for 12-15 mins (18-20 mins if cooking from frozen), until golden, rotating the trays halfway. Leave to cool a little on the trays, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Use the flesh from your Halloween pumpkin to make your own pumpkin purée (see below).

Want to make fresh pumpkin purée for the cookies? 

Find the recipe at coop.co.uk/recipes — search ‘pumpkin purée’