Quick Squash Piadinas
If you haven’t come across them before, piadinas are filled Italian flatbreads. These are filled with squash, black olives, chilli and white beans, which add creaminess and substance, and I make a quick basil and tomato salsa to sit next to them. They make a perfect quick lunch or dinner with some salad on the side. They’re a great way to use up a leftover bit of squash, though sweet potatoes would work just as well if those are what you have. The Parmesan is optional – I often make these without any cheese at all.
Watch a video of me making these for The Sunday Times here.
SERVES 2 AS A MEAL, 4 AS A SNACK
1⁄4 of a butternut squash (about 200g), peeled, seeds removed and grated
10 black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 x 400g tin of white beans, drained
50g Parmesan (I use a vegetarian one; optional)
the zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
4 medium piadina flatbreads or flour tortillas
FOR THE SALSA:
200g ripe vine or cherry tomatoes
a small bunch of basil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Heat a dash of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the squash and season with salt and pepper. Add the olives and chilli, then cook for 8–10 minutes, until the squash has softened and lost its rawness.
Transfer to a bowl and add the beans, then gently mash everything – you still want to have some flecks of unmashed squash. Grate in the Parmesan, if using, add the lemon zest and juice, then taste and season if needed. Set aside.
Chop the tomatoes into a salsa consistency, add the basil and chop again, then transfer to a bowl, add the balsamic and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Warm a frying pan big enough for your flatbreads over a medium heat. Lay a flatbread flat in the pan, quickly spoon half the squash mixture over it and even it out. Put another flatbread on top and dry-fry until it is blistered and golden brown, then use a spatula to flip it over and do the same on the other side. Keep the piadina warm while you make the next one.
Serve straight from the pan with the tomato salsa and a little salad, if you are making a meal of it.
Image: Ana Cuba
Recipe taken from The Modern Cook’s Year