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Moruno's roasted butternut squash with dukkah

Time1 hour 20 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 8
Moruno's roasted butternut squash with dukkah
(Christina House / For The Times )
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The sweet, blistered squash is topped with a handful of dukkah, the popular Egyptian condiment that includes sesame seeds, cashews and plenty of coriander, cumin and Aleppo pepper. Then there’s the butter — lots of it, in every nook of the squash, and throughout the dukkah itself. The last moments of dinner will be spent trying to extract every morsel of squash from its softened skin, and scooping up bits of dukkah from the plate underneath. This is dinner, dessert and everything in between.

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Dukkah

1

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the cashews on a rimmed baking sheet until lightly golden and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and cool.

2

Combine the sesame and nigella seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, or toast in a sauté pan until fragrant. Remove and cool.

3

Roughly chop the cashews and roughly grind or crush the cumin and coriander. In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it begins to brown. Add the coriander and cumin and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cashews and toast until the cashews begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the sesame and nigella seeds, along with the Aleppo pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

Roasted butternut squash with dukkah

1

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Score the flesh of each half in a crosshatch pattern, butter each half generously with butter, and liberally salt.

2

Place each half, cut-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until the squash is softened and the outside is caramelized, 40 to 60 minutes, checking every 10 minutes. The squash is ready when it is readily pierced with a paring knife.

3

Serve each squash half still hot, drizzled with one-half of the dukkah, 1 tablespoon browned butter and 1 to 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste.

Adapted from a recipe by chef Chris Feldmeier of Moruno Restaurant in Los Angeles.