Harissa spiced butternut squash

One of the things we want to do with this blog is food related items.  It will include thoughts on restaurants we visit, food we have made and ingredients sourced locally.  The focus will be on what is available in Turkey.  Gone are the days of nipping round to Waitrose for a jar of pesto – however pine nuts, oil and herbs can be found on the local market, so making pesto is possible.

To start things we thought we’d give a recipe for spiced butternut squash.  This one has a north African influence, hence the harissa.   Harissa is essentially a raw blended paste of chilli with garlic and olive oil and added spices, commonly ground cumin and caraway, so easy enough to source and make.  It will be interesting in the future to experiment with different varieties of chilli.

Harisssa Spiced Butternut Squash

Ingredients
1 butternut squash
Olive oil
2 cloves (teeth) of garlic
5 teaspoons of paprika
2 teaspoons of harissa
Salt and pepper

Method
Peel, core and cut the butternut squash into chunks.  The size is probably not that important, chips or potato wedge size will be just fine.
Put the chunks in a large bowl and pour over enough olive oil to coat all the pieces.
Grate the garlic, add the grated garlic, smoked paprika and harissa.  Mix until all the chunks of squash are well coated.
Place the squash in roasting dish, season with a little salt and pepper, and cook at 180C for 35 to 40 minutes, turning the contents at around the halfway point.
Sprinkle with a little Pul Biber before serving.

Ideal as a meze and goes well with grilled meats.

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