Recipe of the week: Ottolenghi’s Roasted Squash with Chile Yogurt
In certain foodie circles, there is no more respected name than Ottolenghi.
That’s Ottolenghi as in Yotam Ottolenghi, the Israeli-born London restaurant owner whose cookbooks “Jerusalem” and “Plenty” have won countless awards and accolades. (His recipes are among the few that the notoriously hard-to-please Christopher Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen will follow to the letter.)
This month, Ottolenghi is releasing “Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi” (Ten Speed Press, $35), the follow-up to his 2010 ode to vegetables that was the book that first caught the attention of fervent cooks here in the U.S.
He’s a master of melding the five elements of taste, including umami, in contemporary ways, but be warned, many of his recipes are so worldly and forward-thinking that they are based on dishes and include ingredients that American cooks might not be familiar with. This squash with chile yogurt and cilantro sauce in an exception, one that’s perfect for this time of year.
Squash with Chile Yogurt and Cilantro Sauce
1 large butternut squash
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 tsp. salt, divided
Handful cilantro, leaves and stems, plus extra leaves for garnish
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds, and then cut into wedges 3/4-inch wide and about 2 3/4 inches long, leaving the skin on. Place in a large bowl with the cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix well so that the squash is evenly coated. Place the squash, skin side down, on 2 baking sheets and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until soft and starting to color on top. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the herb paste, place the cilantro, garlic, the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and a generous pinch of salt in the bowl of a small food processor, blitz to form a fine paste, and set aside.
Turn down the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Lay the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes. The outer skin will pop open and the seeds will become light and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
When you are ready to serve, swirl together the yogurt and Sriracha sauce. Lay the squash wedges on a platter and drizzle the spicy yogurt sauce and then the herb paste over the top (you can also swirl the yogurt sauce and herb paste together, if you like). Scatter the pumpkin seeds on top, followed by the extra cilantro leaves and serve. Serves 4.
— From “Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi” by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ten Speed Press, $35)