• Do you have vegans or vegetarians on your guest list over the holidays? Don’t fret! This delicious veggie-based dish is all you need to whip up an unforgettable spread. Be sure to make extra, though, as meat eaters will want to tuck in, too

    Recipes by Claire Ferrandi and Dashania Murugas

    Photographs by Dylan Swart

    Hasselback butternuts with bay leaves, cinnamon and sage

    Serves: 6
    Total Time: 30 mins + 1 hr, to roast


    • 2 whole butternuts, unpeeled
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
    • 10 bay leaves
    • 5 cinnamon quills
    • olive oil, to drizzle
    • salt, to taste
    • 60ml (¼ cup) maple syrup



    Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Using a sharp knife, cut the butternuts in half, lengthways, and scoop out the seeds. Place one butternut half, cut side down, on a chopping board. Place the handles of two wooden spoons flush against the sides of the butternut (this will stop you from slicing all the way through the butternuts when cutting the slits in the next step).


    Cut the hasselback slits in the butternut, stopping when the knife hits the wooden spoons. Repeat with the remaining butternut halves. Rub each butternut with the cut side of the garlic clove halves and discard the garlic.


    Line a large baking tray with baking paper and place the butternuts, flat side down, in the tray. Place the bay leaves in some of the slits and arrange the cinnamon quills on top. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the salt.


    Roast in the preheated oven until tender and golden, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and drizzle with the maple syrup. Serve hot.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com