A squash and a squeeze

The cooking inspiration was still lacking last week, as end-of-term work piled up and the days seemed so much shorter.

Ottolenghi to the rescue!

One night, the Hubby had a dinner entre hommes (among fellas) at our local 2-star Michelin restaurant, the Puits Saint Jacques. Me? The night he came back from his trip to China, he suddenly looked at me and clapped his hand over his mouth: “Uhm. You’re babysitting…” Me: “Xcuse me, what?”

Three kids on top of our own. No! Two. Aged 6 and 9… No bother… (grumble, grumble)

Chicken and spuds.

For the kids.

Me?

I couldn’t settle for that, now, could I? I needed a bottle of Alsatian Pinot Gris and…

Ottolenghi’s butternut squash with burnt aubergine yoghurt 


What you need:

A butternut squash

Olive oil, salt, pepper

Seeds (sunflower, pine nuts, almond flakes, sesame… I didn’t have exactly the “right” ones. )

Basil leaves

Pomegranate seeds

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Deseed the butternut and cut in 2 or 3, lengthwise, then into 1-inch wide wedges
  • Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper, then place on a baking tray, skin side down
  • Bake for about 35 minutes (or a little more) until the squash is tender and a little browned at the edges 

For the burnt aubergine yoghurt, you need:

1 medium-sized aubergine 

1-2 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (since I know neither what this looks like nor where one would buy it, I used thick balsamic vinegar)

1-2 tbsp of lemon juice 

2-3 tbsp of olive oil

1 clove of garlic 

150g plain Greek yoghurt 

Salt, pepper 

What to do:

  • Since my kitchen has no open flame, I popped the whole aubergine in the oven under the hot grill. 
  • Turn regularly for about 45 minutes. 
  • Take out the charred aubergine and cut open its now hardened skin with a knife or kitchen scissors. 
  • Scoop out the inside which has shriveled to a couple of tablespoons of greenish-grey pulp. 
  • Mix in the blender with the other ingredients and chill. 

Scoop, drizzle, sprinkle and enjoy. 
The kids were nice. The butternut squash, also. (I only ate one of them.)

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