Recipes: Improvised indoor barbecue – tabbouleh and Ottolenghi roasted butternut squash

A couple of weeks ago my mother-in-law came to stay, and so we had planned to have a barbecue one evening to make the most of a) the weather, and b) the stash of reduced price burgers and sausages I’ve been building up on shopping trips. Typically for Britain, this was the one day that week that it rained. So – we improvised!


Pork and Chorizo burgers (Asda’s Extra Special – very nice indeed)
Herby sausages (Tesco’s butcher’s own – 16 to a pack – good value and great taste)
Roasted butternut squash with sweet spices, lime and green chilli

The burgers and sausages were cooked in the George Foreman grill (good for the chargrilled look as the burgers are typically a bit sticky because of the chorizo).

Tabbouleh – make up the bulghar wheat with vegetable stock, add a glug of olive oil and lemon juice, about a tablespoon of allspice (mmm, allspice!), a couple of chopped tomatos, a chopped up cucumber, a scrunch of salt and pepper and then some fresh coriander/mint. You can be pretty approximate with quantities to your own taste – the thing to aim for is to have plenty of veg within the tabbouleh rather than playing “spot the tomato amongst the bulghar wheat”!.

Roasted butternut squash with sweet spices, lime and green chilli (from Ottolenghi’s “Plenty”)

Serves 4-6
2 whole limes (I used lime juice)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium butternut squash
2 tbsp cardamom seeds (I only had about a tsp and it was still nice, but looking forward to repeating now that I’ve restocked!)
1 tsp ground allspice
100g Greek yoghurt
30g tahini paste
1 tbsp lime juice
1 green chilli, finely sliced
10g picked coriander leaves
Maldon sea salt (think I just used normal salt!)

Preheat the oven to 210C. Use a knife to remove the skin and pith of the limes, quarter and cut into thin slices, place in a bowl, sprinkle with a little salt, drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, stir and set aside. (I just added lime juice to the tahini/yoghurt mix).

Cut the butternut squash in half, remove seeds and cut each half into 1cm thick slices. Place on a large baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.

Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods (aiee – faff!) and grind seeds to a rough powder (pestle and mortar time). Transfer to a small bowl, add allspice and the remaining 3 tbsp of oil. Stir well and brush the mixture over the butternut slices. Sprinkle over a little salt and palce in the oven for 15 miuntes or until tender whentested with teh point of a knife. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Peel off the skin, or leave on if you prefer.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yoghurt, tahini, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Sauce should be thick, but runny enough to pour. Add more water if need be.

To serve – arrange the cooled butternut squash slices on a serving platter (not in my house – a plate will do!), drizzle with the yoghurt sauce. Spoon over the lime slices and their juices and scatter the chilli slices over the top. Garnish with the coriander and serve.