November 1st, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash, Pomegranate and Chickpea Salad

With the darker days looming and the seasonal colours bursting into shades of burnt orange and gold, this dish is the perfect recipe to conquer the gloomy days of Autumn turning into Winter..

Pomegranates are coming into season and butternut squashes are perfect for harvesting and cooking. This dish is perfect at this time of year and can be tossed together simply and quickly. It’s a delicious recipe to pull out of the drawer on a miserable day, and brings a real splash of colour to dull wintry weather.

Autumn and Winter is not only about hearty stews and boiling hot soups but the occasional salad served either warm or cold is a refreshing break. We regularly enjoy meals without meat or fish and this dish is that all in one nutritious meal without the meat. Saying that it’s also perfect to be served as a side dish with whole baked wild sea bass or a joint of roasted shoulder of pork.

This really is an ideal one tray wonder recipe. If you like the “family style” presentation of food then it’s one of those pretty numbers to serve up in the same roasting tray that you used to roast the squash in. It’s a great idea, looks rustic and seriously home-made, and best of all is it saves time. Less washing up is always a preferred option!

I drizzled a wonderful and tasty yoghurt dressing over this salad. I used an interesting ingredient called tahini that is mixed in with the Greek yoghurt and the zest and juice of one lemon. Tahini is sesame paste and one of the main ingredients for making hummus. You can purchase tahini from most high street or middle eastern supermarkets.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

  • 2 small butternut squashes
  • 1tsp ras-el-hanout
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 330g cooked chickpeas
  • 20g fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 2tbs pomegranate molasses
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 salad onions, finely sliced
  • 2 hands full of mixed salad leaves such as mizuna and baby red chard

Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease a large oven roasting tray.

Wash the butternut skin and pat dry, cut the butternut in half and remove the seeds. Cut the butternut in even size slices and or wedges and arrange them on the roasting tray, drizzle over the olive oil, season and sprinkle over the ras-el-hanout. Roast them in the preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes or until tender when you  stick a sharp knife into the flesh. Once cooked remove the tray form the oven and drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and let the butternut cool in the tray.

Once cooled, wash and shave the fennel using a sharp mandolin, scatter it over the roasted squash, scatter the drained chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, chopped coriander  leaves, sliced salad onions and salad leaves.

Drizzle the tahini lemon yoghurt and serve.

Tahini Lemon Yoghurt

  • 100ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1tbs tahini
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a small bowl mix the yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice and zest. Season to taste and if the dressing is a touch too thick add a few drops of cold water to thin it down to a dripping consistency.

Serves 4-6 people


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17 Comments to “Roasted Butternut Squash, Pomegranate and Chickpea Salad”

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  1. KB says:

    Thank you all for awseome comments! Especially for the Ras-el-hanout recipe. Any one have any ideas for a good subsitute for pomegranate? Would love to put this vegeterian dish on a new menu but its currently out of season in the southern hemisphere..

  2. Claire says:

    Had this in your restaurant last night and it didn’t disappoint! Delicious. Off to order Ras-al-Hanout from Arabica Spice Co.

  3. janet says:

    This salad looks incredible. I like how you combined the squash with the pomegranates and chickpeas. I can’t wait to try it. :)

  4. I love warm salads and this looks like a particularly nice one. I love the idea of using ras-el-hanout.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Jude ;)

  5. Carol S-B (Canada) says:

    This salad recipe is gorgeous.
    Some years ago, I read a recipe for ras-al-hanout in a local magazine.
    The recipe makes ~1/2 cup, which lasts me a long time. I use the mixture in chick peas (serve with couscous: cook chick peas with caramelized onions, dried apricots etc., ras-al-hanout), or in kefta kebabs. Here it is:
    Ras el Hanout (“top of the shop”)
    To make this spice mixture correctly, you should have a large brass mortar and pestle. I just ground it in my blender.
    5 bay leaves
    1 tbsp. each: peppercorns, thyme, whole cloves, ground cinnamon and nutmeg
    1 tsp. coriander seeds or ground coriander
    ½ tsp. each cardamom, ginger, cumin seed, allspice, turmeric and fennel seeds
    Store in a tightly closed jar.

  6. Jane says:

    Where do you get ras el hanout and pomegranite molasses in Woodbridge? I’ll ask you when we come to the BL this weekend for our first try of your lovely-sounding pub

  7. Madalene says:

    Dear Jane,

    Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I’m looking forward meeting you this weekend when you visit us. I will make sure this dish is on the menu so that you can try it.
    I buy the Ras-El-Hanout and Pomegranate Molasses via mail order from The Arabica Spice Company. http://www.arabicafoodandspice.com/

    James is a good friend and has introduced us to the amazing world of high quality spices.
    I think it’s a real celebration of Britishness. It really showcases the wonderful multicultural Britain we live in.
    Mail order is nowadays so easy and with in a few days the ingredients arrive through the post..

    Until this weekend,
    Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

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