Roasted squash with sweet spices, lime, and green chile plus Simple roast chicken with herbs

November 7, 2012

Roasted squash with sweet spices, lime, and green chile

Page 65, Ottolenghi

Simple roast chicken with herbs

Page 16, Henry

My friend Julia came over for a post-election celebration dinner of Plenty. Given the abundance of squash still in our larder, and Julia’s hearty “yes!” when I asked her if she was a squash fan meant that the last of the Ottolenghi squash recipes was pressed into service for our dinner. The preparation for this one was slightly involved, but the outcome was worth it. The squash is roasted with cardamom and allspice – not a combination I would have dreamt up, but perfectly delicious in it’s sweetness. A sweetness that was totally offset by the limes, chiles and the tahini sauce that is drizzled over the squash once roasted.  Julia good naturedly submitted to both my pre-meal photo-taking AND my lengthy quizzing on where *exactly* the squash dish would fall in a ranking of vegetable side dishes (above cauliflower and way below mashed potatoes, by the way). 

The squash was a lovely complement to the roast chicken that I made from the Henry version of Plenty. There really is nothing like a simple roast chicken – this one stuffed with parsley, sage, oregano, and apple slices – to make you feel hungry, happy, and cared for, according to Diana Henry’s recipe. And she is so right. Julia and I both really needed to feel happy, hungry AND cared for after the last few weeks – et voila!

Roasted squash with sweet spices, lime, and green chile
2 limes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 big butternut squash
1 tablespoon cardamom
1 teaspoon allspice
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 ½ tbsps tahini
1 tablespoon lime juice (or more to taste)
1 green chile (I used jalapeno), sliced thin
2/3 cup cilantro
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  
For the limes: trim off the tops and bottoms of the limes with a paring knife. Now with the limes standing stable on a cutting board, use your knife to cut down the sides, slicing off the skin and the white pith. Quarter the naked limes, and then cut into very thin slices. Place these slices in a bowl, add a 1-tablespoon drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
For the butternut squash: Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Now, cut the squash into slices – about ½ inch thick. Lay them out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet .
Mix together the cardamom and allspice in a small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and stir. Brush this spiced oil over the squash. Season the squash with salt. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until tender, and then let cool.
Whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lime juice, and two tablespoons of water. Season to taste with salt. (The sauce will be thick, but you want to be able to drizzle it over the squash, so add more lime juice or water to taste to thin it out if necessary.)
Arrange the squash on a serving platter. Drizzle with the yogurt-tahini sauce. Spoon the lime slices and their juice evenly over top. Scatter the chile slices. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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