Urfa Chilli Paste has a wonderfully slow building heat with a faintly smoky aroma, which is then combined with the aromatic characters of sage and rosemary in a marinade for sweet roasted butternut squash. Its dark crimson colour also gives the dish a real autumnal look against the orange and sand colour of the squash and Chickpeas. The dish is hearty enough to eat on its own, or would be great with roasted meats, poached eggs or grilled halloumi.
1 butternut squash (approx. 900g), or pumpkin would also work well too
1½tbsp Urfa Chilli Paste
1 lemon, juiced
½tsp ground nutmeg
1tsp dried sage (fresh is fine, but use less and finely chop)
¾tsp dried rosemary (fresh is fine, but use less and finely chop)
1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped and crushed to a paste
300g bunch of kale, stalks removed
50g pumpkin seeds
660g jar Chickpeas, drained then rinsed
¼ red onion, peeled and finely sliced then soaked in cold water
½tsp black onion seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
Remove the stalk of the squash, cut in half lengthways and scoop out the insides. Place each half, cut side down, then slice horizontally into 2cm thick half-moon pieces.
Make the marinade by combining the Urfa Chilli Paste, juice of half a lemon, nutmeg, sage, rosemary, garlic, ½tbsp Olive Oil and ¼tsp salt in a large bowl. Mix, then add the squash and toss with a spoon so that all the pieces of squash are coated. Ideally leave to marinate for a few hours but if not, then some of the marinade can be added into the dressing later to keep the flavour.
Preheat an oven to 220C/Fan 200C fan/Gas Mark 7. Line a large oven tray with baking paper then place the marinated squash on top of this. Retain any marinade left in the bottom of the bowl. When the oven is hot, place the tray of squash inside and roast for 25 minutes.
Whilst the squash is cooking, complete the rest of the prep. Place a medium pan of salted water on the stove, bring to the boil, then add the kale and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain into a colander then refresh in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.
Place the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until crisp and beginning to pop. Make a dressing with the remaining lemon juice and Olive Oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Once the squash has roasted for 25 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and scatter the chickpeas over the top. Return the tray to the oven and roast for a further 10 minutes. Take the tray out and add the kale, then return and roast for a final 5 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and pour the contents into a large bowl. Add the drained red onion, pumpkin seeds, a few pinches of salt, any remaining marinade and the lemon dressing then stir everything together so that the marinade from the squash starts to coat the other ingredients. Taste and season with more salt as you desire, then divide between plates and top with a sprinkling of black onion seeds.