The unerring palate of Yotam Ottolenghi scores again! In his newest book, “NOPI: The Cookbook,” the great chef, along with NOPI’s executive chef, Ramael Scully, shares 120 flavor-bomb recipes from his newest London restaurant, NOPI, where Scully’s Malaysian heritage informs many of the flavors. It’s a veritable Middle Eastern-Mediterranean-Asian mash-up of deliciousness.
As with Ottolenghi’s other best-selling cookbooks, it is lovingly photographed by the über-talented Jonathan Lovekin, and filled with recipes for which you will want to instantly run out and purchase the ingredients. We’ve chosen to share a dish that just screams, “Make me for Thanksgiving!” It’s time to shake things up a little at the dinner table.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Butternut Squash with Ginger Tomatoes and Lime Yogurt
“Roasted wedges of squash and roasted slices of eggplant: these are two bad boys that 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 shot on the menu. The combination here of sweet roasted squash with lime-fresh yogurt and gingery oven-dried tomatoes was deemed to cut the mustard.
Ready-made crispy fried shallots can be found in Asian food stores. If you want to make your own, see the instructions on page 110. They’re a nice addition but, with the crunch already provided by the cashews, the dish can stand well without them, if you prefer.” – Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully, “NOPI: The Cookbook”
- 1 medium butternut squash, trimmed, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, then cut width-wise into 1-inch/2.5-cm slices (1.75 lbs.)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 large plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise (1lb., 1oz)
- 1 1/4” piece of ginger, finely grated (1 oz.)
- 1 red chile, seeded and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 packed tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
- coarse sea salt and black pepper
- scant 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lime,
- plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/5 oz. cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped (approx. 1 tablespoon)
- 1 oz. cashew nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/3 oz. crispy store-bought fried shallots (optional)
Preheat the oven to 465°F (425°F convection).
Mix the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 340°F (300°F convection).
Place the tomato halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil, and cook for 80 minutes, until softened.
Place the ginger, chile, 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 the tomatoes are caramelized, and set aside to cool.
Place all the ingredients for the lime yogurt 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.
Spread the squash out on a large platter and layer the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the lime yogurt, sprinkle with the cilantro, cashews, and shallots, and serve.
Reprinted with permission from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Food Photography credit: Jonathan Lovekin © 2015
Location Photography credit: Adam Hinton © 2015