Four, masculine noun (un four, le four, des fours) = oven (pronounced foor). Au four = (literally “in the oven”) baked.
Four à pain = bread oven, four à pizza = pizza oven, four à micro-ondes = microwave, une fournée = (literally “an ovenful”) a batch, un fournil = a baker’s oven
Expression: être au four et au moulin = to do two things at once (literally “to be at the oven and at the mill”)
My recipe for today is for butternut au four = baked butternut. It is the season when we should be finishing up all stored squashes. This recipe is delicious and quick and easy to do.
I’m not going to tell you what you need today. It’s so easy, but it depends on the size of butternut you need to feed the number of people you are going to be. I did half a very small one, about 8 inches long, with 3/4 of a ball of mozzarella, since I was eating alone.
- Bake half a butternut for as long as it takes to get soft (mine took about 25 minutes on 180° but it was very small). Just bake it as it is, with the seeds. You can remove them and any unwanted filaments once it is cooked.
- Fill the hole with buffalo milk (in other words real) mozzarella, torn into pieces. Sprinkle with dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, thyme), salt and freshly ground pepper. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes, until the mozzarella has melted.
- Serve with a tablespoon of your favourite tomato sauce – I used tomato, olive and basil – and a green salad.
- Put the seeds back into the oven sprinkled with salt, even with the oven off, they will continue roasting and you can have them with drinks later.
This is real “dashing in at the end of a day’s work and wondering what we are going to eat” food. Simple, healthy stuff, if you use proper and not industrial mozzarella, organic butternut (which costs nothing), and home-made or organic pasta sauce.
Do you spot the error in two of the photos above? (No, not that they are a bit blurred, I’m afraid they often are.) I’m drinking water, and at Sunday lunchtime too! Well, miracles happen…