Give Your Butternut Squash an Exotic Twist With This ‘NOPI’ Recipe

Every week, Yahoo Food spotlights a cookbook that stands out from all the rest. This week’s cookbook is NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully (Ten Speed Press). Read more about Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week here.

Photograph by Jonathan Lovekin

By Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully

Serves 4

Roasted wedges of squash and roasted slices of eggplant: these are two bad boys that have been around the Ottolenghi delis and NOPI restaurant for a very long time. Any new player has to have very good credentials to gain the respect of the old-timers and get a shot on the menu. The combination here of sweet roasted squash with lime-fresh yogurt and gingery oven-dried tomatoes was deemed to cut the mustard.

Ready-made crispy fried shallots can be found in Asian food stores. They’re a nice addition but, with the crunch already provided by the cashews, the dish can stand well without them, if you prefer. 

1 medium butternut squash, trimmed, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, then cut widthwise into 1-inch slices (1  3/4 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 large plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise (1 pound, 1 ounce)
1  ¼-inch piece of ginger, finely grated (1 ounce)
1 red chile, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 packed tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
Coarse sea salt and black pepper 

Lime yogurt
Scant ½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Finely grated zest of ½ lime, plus 1  ½ teaspoons lime juice

To serve
1/5 ounce cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 ounce cashew nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/3 ounce crispy store-bought fried shallots (optional)  

Preheat the oven to 465°F/240°C (425°F/220°C convection).

Mix the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 340°F/170°C (300°F/150°C convection).

Place the tomato halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil, and cook for 80 minutes, until softened.

Place the ginger, chile, garlic, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Mix to form a paste, then spoon this on top of the tomatoes. Cook for another 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are caramelized, and set aside to cool.

Place all the ingredients for the lime yogurt in a small bowl, with ½ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Spread the squash out on a large platter and layer the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the lime yogurt, sprinkle with the cilantro, cashews, and shallots, and serve.

Reprinted with permission from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully (Ten Speed Press).

NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully. (Photo: Jonathan Lovekin)

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