The Really Quite Good British Cookbook
WARM BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD WITH LABNEH & CHILLI
Recipe by JAMES RAMSDEN, food writer & restaurateur, Homerton, London
SERVINGS: 4–6 | PREP TIME: 30 MINS PLUS HANGING OVERNIGHT | COOK TIME: 45 MINS
SKILL LEVEL: 1 (EASY)
Labneh is yoghurt that has been strained of all its whey, leaving the thick, almost cheesy, curd behind. It needs a day or two to reach its peak, so if you’re making this at more of a run, just use a really thick Greek-style yoghurt.
You Will Need
1–2 days ahead: line a bowl with a clean tea towel. Tip the yoghurt in, add a pinch of salt, then tie the towel up with string and hang from a cupboard handle over the bowl.
Up to 1 day ahead: pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Wash the squash but don’t peel it (the skin is delicious) and cut it into rounds, discarding the seeds. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme, and roast for 45 minutes. Leave to cool; chill overnight if necessary.
Up to 1 hour ahead: make the dressing by chopping the parsley finely and mixing it with the ground coriander, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, or whizz everything together in a blender.
30 minutes ahead: if necessary, warm the squash in a medium oven (180°C/350°F/gas 4). If the oven’s already on for something else, do it at that temperature, keeping an eye on it if it’s particularly hot.
Dinnertime: place the chunks of squash on a plate and top with a dollop of labneh. Scatter with chopped chilli and a generous splash of the parsley dressing, then serve.
Use goat’s milk yoghurt instead, to produce lovely goat’s curd. Also delicious just spread on toast.
Perk up leftover labneh with herbs and garlic for a sort of homemade Boursin.