Although the Accidental Locavore generally needs to be talked into the autumnal pumpkin/winter squash frenzy kicking and complaining (but not screaming), we were given a beautiful butternut squash from a friend’s garden, so I went cruising for something interesting to do with it and found this great recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. It’s really simple and, depending on the size of your squash, feeds at least 4 as a side dish.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup olive oil (divided use)
- 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (or use the seeds from the squash)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, or labne
- 1 ½ teaspoons Sriracha (more or less to taste)
- Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, peel and cut into 1/2” wedges about 3” long. If you’re going to use the squash seeds, rinse them well and set aside to dry. Put the squash in a large bowl with the cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, ¾ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Toss to coat the squash well. Put on two baking sheets and roast for 35-40 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
For the cilantro sauce, put the cilantro (save a few sprigs to garnish) and garlic in a small food processor or mini-chopper. Pulse until chopped and then gradually add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil until it makes a fine paste. Taste and add salt as needed.
Put the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, until they’re light and crispy. Remove and cool.
Mix the yogurt and Sriracha together. To serve, lay the roasted squash on a large plate or platter, drizzle the yogurt mix and then add the cilantro sauce. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top and garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: This might make a squash believer out of me! It was really good, with the creamy spiciness of the yogurt making a great contrast to the sweetness of the roasted squash. The cilantro sauce gave it a nice fresh taste, too – all together a great combination! If you’re a butternut squash fan, you’ll love it, and even if you’re a non-believer like me, you’ll still love it! The two sauces can be made while the squash is roasting and I just took the squash from the roasting pan, plated it and tossed the pumpkin seeds in the oven. They’re probably the one thing you could lose from the recipe, or replace with toasted pine nuts if you wanted the crunch. I like the dish warm, but it’s probably good at room temperature too.