Roasted Butternut Squash with Pomegranate and a Tahini Yoghurt Dressing

Let me state now that markets are THE best place to buy cheap fruit and veggies. I can promise that you will find bargins that Saino’s can only dream of. You will also begin to understand why i can afford to use ingredients like Pomegranate in my cooking… its because i bought it for 80p. If you can’t already tell, I am a fan. I think it is the prospect of free food samples and the hope that I will come across some miraculous bargains that draws me to nearly any crappy market. Indeed even in the heart of northern France, when my boyfriend and I were driving the old VW camper back towards rainy England after our trip around Europe, he managed to convince me that it was worth trailing around stalls filled with old toothbrushes and piles of clothes, that David Bowie would have rejected in the 80s, with the prospect of finding –  something, anything that might not resemble worthless crap.
However every now and then my market perseverance pays off and yesterday was one such day. Where i managed to get my hands on 2 woolen knitted goodies and a smart dark blue coat. Each item only costing two quid a pop. I wasn’t the only lucky one.
My two friends (Lucy and Josh) also did well. The lucky pair also managed to get a couple of free Chicken Jalfrezes from a food giveaway at the local fire station before i arrived. There was also sample pots of Chocolate Mousse to promote a new restaurant nearby, i can’t remember the name, I’m not sure anyone can, everyone was too distracted with the free mousse.
I now love Oxford’s Gloucester Green Thursdays Market and I’m sure you can understand why I would recommend anyone to check out the markets in their area. It is a rarity that good clothes are on offer, but you will definitely halve your spending on the weekly veggies and possibly get a few free food samples if you are lucky!
Whenever Squash is baked or roasted in my family it is always customary to leave the skin on. I don’t know if this is laziness or because everyone truly enjoys eating the whole thing. I can only speak for myself but I really like the soft palpable flesh of the Squash and the contrasting resistant texture of the skin that stops the Squash from completely falling apart, I also feel good that there is minimal wastage. If you don’t it is simple, before cooking you can chop off the skin and the jobs a goodun.
This is a 30 minute, no fuss, veggie dish which i made yesterday to eat wrapped in a tortilla with a few big chunks of Goats Cheese and some crunchy Lettuce. It also works well as a side dish with slow cooked Lamb Stew or Roast Chicken. In this dish I only used half my bargain Pomegranate, a little goes a long way. I plan to use the rest today for sprinkling over Cous Cous or Rice, perhaps with a few chunks of Roasted Aubergine.

Serves 3-4

  • 1 medium sized Butternut Squash
  • 2 tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Pomegranate

For the Dressing

  • 2 tsp Tahini
  • 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 (heaped) tbs Plain Greek Yoghurt
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 clove of Garlic
  • Salt and fresh Black Pepper
  • 1-2 tbs toasted Sesame Seeds
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius- A fan oven should take about 15 minutes to warm up. Chop your squash in half, remove the seeds and slice into long wedges of equal size.
Put the squash on a baking tray, pour over the olive oil, scatter over the cumin and season with salt and pepper
Mix well so the squash is coated in the oil before adding to the oven
Cook the squash for 25-30 minutesUsing the side of a knife and a pinch of Salt, crush the garlic into a pulp
Add with all the other ingredients for the dressing into a cup and mix well

Add a couple of tsps of water if the Tahini dressing is too thick

When the squash is cooked and golden remove it from the oven
Hold the pomegranate over the squash and bash the back to get the seeds out
Scatter over the sesame seeds and drizzle over the tahini dressing.
Serve warm.

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