Roast butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za'atar


  • 1 large butternut squash (around 1.1kg), cut into 2cm x 6cm wedges 
  • 2 red onions, cut into 3cm wedges 
  • 50ml olive oil 
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper 
  • 3½ tbsp tahini paste 
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice 
  • 3 tbsp water 
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed 
  • 30g pine nuts 
  • 1 tbsp za'atar 
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
Roast butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za'atar
    Serves four

If you want a vegetarian dish to make an impact on the table, this does the job - it looks great and has really complex flavours.

  1. Heat the oven to to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put the squash and onions in a large bowl, add three tablespoons of oil, a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper, and toss well. Spread, skin down, on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes until the vegetables have taken on some colour and are cooked through. Keep an eye on the onions: they may cook faster than the squash, so may need to be removed earlier. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  2. Put the tahini in a small bowl with the lemon juice, water, garlic and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Whisk to the consistency of honey, adding more water or tahini as necessary.
  3. Pour the remaining oil into a small frying pan on a medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts and half a teaspoon of salt, cook for two minutes, stirring, until the nuts are golden brown, then tip the nuts and oil into a small bowl.
  4. To serve, spread the vegetables on a platter and drizzle over the sauce. Scatter the pine nuts and oil on top, followed by the za'atar and parsley.