Roasted wedges of squash, like our roasted slices of aubergine: these are two bad boys which 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 look-in on the menu. The combination here of the sweet roasted squash with the lime-fresh yoghurt and the gingery oven-dried tomatoes was deemed to cut the mustard.
Ready-made crispy shallots can be found in all Asian stores. If you want to make your own, see the instructions on pages 110–11. 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 lengthways, seeds removed, then cut widthways into 2½ cm wide slices (800g)
45ml olive oil
6 large plum tomatoes, halved lengthways (500g)
3cm piece of ginger, finely grated (25g)
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
30g dark muscovado sugar
coarse sea salt and black pepper
120g Greek yoghurt
¼ tsp ground cardamom
Finely grated zest of ½ lime, plus 1½ tsp lime juice To serve
5g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
30g cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
10g crispy shop-bought shallots (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas mark 9.
2 Mix the squash with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 35–40 minutes, until golden-brown. Set aside to cool.
3 Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3.
4 Place the tomato halves on a parchment-lined baking tray, skin-side down. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the last tablespoon of oil and cook for 80 minutes, until softened.
5 Place the ginger, chilli, garlic, sugar and 1/4 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 caramelized, and set aside to cool.
6 Place all the ingredients for the lime yoghurt in a small bowl, with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
7 Spread the squash out on a large platter and arrange the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the lime yoghurt, sprinkle with the coriander, cashews and shallots, if using, and serve.