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Roasted Squash, Seeded Herby Freekeh and Zhoug

Hot spicy Yemeni Zhoug is a lovely addition to one of my favourite salads of roasted squash and seeded freekeh. 

Roasted Squash with Seeded Herby Freekeh and Zhoug

Roasted Squash

Aleppo pepper, or ‘pul biber’ Turkish pepper flakes adds a lovely mild pepper flavour to the squash. My favourite squash for this recipe is onion squash, with it's fluorescent orange skin and bright orange flesh - if you can’t find an onion squash use butternut squash instead.

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium orange squash
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Big pinch of Aleppo pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180Fan.
  2. Wash the squash, trim the top and bottom and keep the skin on.
  3. Cut the squash into quarters and each quarter in half to make 8 wedges.
  4. Toss them with olive oil in a mixing bowl, along with the garlic.
  5. Place the squash wedges on a lined baking tray, spreading evenly.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and Aleppo pepper. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes until soft but holding their shape well.
  7. Take off the foil and cook for another 10 minutes until the squash slightly caramelises.
  8. Serve on top of the herby seedy freekeh with a drizzle of zhoug and more on the side.

Seeded Herby Freekeh 

Freekeh is a Middle Eastern grown wheat that is picked whilst green and unripe, and then roasted over wood fires to burn off the husk, giving it a slightly smoky flavour. It can be bought whole or cracked. This salad is more a herb salad than a grain dish, so don’t stint on the herbs.

Dietary: Vegan | Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g cracked freekeh (or bulgar wheat)
  • Large handful flat leaf parsley
  • Large handful of fresh mint
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 25g sesame seeds
  • 25ml olive oil
  • ½ a lemon, juiced
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Soak the freekeh in cold water for 5 minutes, then rinse and drain well.
  2. Place the freekeh in a saucepan and cover with water and boil for 15 minutes. Drain, and return the freekeh to the hot saucepan with the lid on to finish cooking in the residual heat and steam, for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the stems from the parsley and mint and chop.
  4. Heat a dry frying pan and gently toast the seeds and decant into a bowl.
  5. Mix the freekeh with the herbs and seeds. Add the olive oil and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Zhoug

Zhoug is a vibrant green chilli and coriander sauce from the Yemen.

Ingredients

  • 3 green Jalapenos chillies, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 50g fresh coriander, chopped
  • 25g pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or use a pestle and mortar. Add more oil until you have a sauce like consistency. Taste and add more cardamom, salt and agave syrup to taste.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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