Patty Or Cake?

I’m not sure what to call these. I hate it when something claims to be a “burger” when it’s not made of meat. The breadcrumb coating makes them look a bit like a fishcakes but “butternut squash cake” suggests something sweet and baked. So I have settled on patties, even though it is a word that gives me the heebie jeebies. Other suggestions gratefully received.

Like my last post, this was made strictly with things that were already in the house so their success gave me a bit of a frugal high.

They’re a bit autumnal and a bit tail-end-of-summer-y. There’s a lots of lovely contrasts going on: between the sweet squash and salty feta, then the hot patties and cool leaves, some tenderness, some crunch.

butternut feta patties

Butternut squash and feta patties with Tomato & mint salsa (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • 150g feta cheese
  • handful plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 handfuls breadcrumbs
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 2 little gem lettuces

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Halve the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Season with salt and pepper and put a splash of olive oil in the cavity. Roast for 25ish minutes until tender (keep the oven on). Leave to cool then, when it’s handleable, scoop the flesh from the skin into a bowl.
  2. Crumble over the feta and season with black pepper. Mix with your hands then form into 8 evenly sized patties.
  3. Put the flour on one plate, the breadcrumbs on another and whisk the egg in a small bowl.
  4. Take the patties and roll them in the flour just to get a thin coating. Dip them in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs until evenly covered.
  5. Put the crumb-covered patties on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, turning once.
  6. Meanwhile make the salsa. Cut the cherry tomatoes into eighths and put in a bowl with a splash of olive oil, the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and pinch of sugar. Finely chop as much of the chilli as you like (I used about half) and add it. Just before serving shred the mint and add it to the salsa.
  7. Serve sandwiched between lettuce leaves with a spoonful of the salsa.

Ifs And Ands

  • Other sorts of squash, or even sweet potato, could do instead of the butternut. And blue cheese might be nice instead of feta.
  • I like the lettuce as it keeps things light but for a more substantial meal you could put the patties in pitta bread pockets or a bun instead.
  • Frying them in a little oil would make them crunchier albeit less healthy.