Roasted squash and courgettes with whipped feta and pistachi
½ a small butternut squash, sliced lengthways (but unpeeled), seeds scooped out, then each half cut widthways into 1/2cm-thick slices (550g)
2½ tbsp olive oil
3-4 yellow (or green) courgettes (500g), sliced in half, lengthways and then widthways (to get 4 pieces from each courgette), then each piece cut in half again, lengthways, to make wedges
25g runny honey
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp cider vinegar
5g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
50g Greek-style yoghurt
100g feta, roughly crumbled
1 lemon: finely grate the zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1½ tbsp
Salt and black pepper
50g pistachio kernels, toasted (see page 339) and roughly chopped
1½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar
¾ tep Aleppo chilli flakes (or ⅛ tsp regular chilli flakes)
About 5g small picked mint leaves, to serve
Preheat the oven to 230°C fan.
Put the squash into a large bowl with 1½ tablespoons of oil, ¾ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well, then spread out flat on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes, turning over halfway through so that both sides get some colour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
While the squash is cooking, grease a chargrill pan and place on a high heat.
Put the courgettes into a large bowl with the remaining tablespoon of oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Once the grill pan is smoking hot, add the courgettes, in two batches if you need to, and cook for about 3 minutes, rotating the wedges so that they have chargrill marks on all sides. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 5 minutes, or until they're cooked through but still retain a bite.
Put the honey, 1 garlic clove, the cider vinegar, tarragon and ⅛ of a teaspoon of salt into a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the squash and courgettes and stir very gently, to coat. Set aside until needed.
Put the ricotta, yoghurt, 60g of feta, the lemon zest and juice, the remaining garlic clove, ⅛ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper into a bowl. Mix well until smooth, using a whisk to break apart the feta. Spread the mixture out on a large serving platter and top with the courgettes and squash. Scatter over the rest of the feta, followed by the pistachios, coriander seeds and chilli flakes. Top with the mint leaves and serve.
This is great as either a starter or as part of a spread. It also works as a side dish, served alongside meatballs or roast chicken. Get hold of yellow courgettes if you can: the clash of colour looks great with the squash.
Getting ahead: Roast the squash and courgettes a few hours before serving and mix them with the dressing, if you want to get ahead: they're happy to sit around for 3-4 hours, at room temperature, before serving. The whipped feta and yoghurt mix can also be made up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to serve.
Playing around: You don't need to do both the squash and the courgette, if you'd prefer to have just one or the other. You can also play around with other vegetables: carrots work just as well as the squash, for example.