There hasn’t been many days this summer for al fresco dining. Today was one such day. I fired up some lump wood charcoal for the tandoori oven. Make sure to use untreated wood for this to ensure the toxins don’t travel into the food. I placed a large butternut squash into the coals to cook. I turned it regularly to get an even char. The whole cooking process took 1 hour and 20 minutes. I used a metal skewer to check if it was cooked. The squash is done when the skewer passes easily through the skin and is hot to touch. The smokey charred flavour permeates through the tough outer skin of the butternut squash. The soft orange flesh with melted butter and sea salt is the perfect side for any meat cooked on your grill. You can also use the scooped out flesh to make an autumnal soup. This way of cooking vegetables goes beyond what you think is right. Actually burning the skin feels wrong and the burnt smell is your normal warning sign for when food is overdone. But with a tough skinned vegetable like a butternut squash, the result is worth it. You can experiment with others like celeriac, turnip and pumpkin. Maybe try all four and make an outstanding smokey dish.