Roasted Butternut Squash Hummous

We’re so pleased to have a guest post from the fabulous Grania O’Brien. If you like this yummy recipe, head on over to her blog for some more inspiration and foodie delights. Here’s what she says:

“I first had this at Nopi when I took my other half for his birthday back in March. I enjoyed it so much that I made a mental note of what I thought the ingredients were and vowed that I would try to make it myself.
I must admit, it’s taken me until now to do so, and I can no longer remember the original well enough to honestly tell you how it compares. What I can say however is that it’s an interesting combination, and one that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to work.
But it does. It really does. Teamed with some wonderful fresh sourdough bread, for me it’s a starter or picnic dip that I could happily consume, bite by bite without anything else. Except maybe a nice glass of white wine.
The recipe contains a whole butternut, so there’s plenty to go round. It’ll easily feed 8-10 as part of a selection of mezzes.
1 small butternut squash
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil (plus some for roasting & drizzling)
150ml boiling water
2 cloves garlic
10g coriander
10g flat leaf parsley
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1/4 tsp sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 200°C, then peel and chop the butternut into chunks. Place on a baking tray and lightly coat with olive oil and then sprinkle the cumin and coriander powder over. Give it a good shake to make sure the spices are evenly distributed, then roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes – until the butternut is soft.
Mash the butternut using a fork or potato masher, then make the tahini sauce: put the tahini paste in a medium sized bowl, then add 150ml boiling water, the olive oil and the lemon juice. Beat the mixture with a fork until you have a smooth paste about the thickness of gloss paint. Next, stir in the pomegranate molasses and crush in the garlic.
Add the butternut mash to the tahini paste and stir until both ingredients are combined. Roughly chop the parsley and coriander, fold into the dip and then if you want it to look extra good, transfer it all to a clean serving bowl. Toast the nigella and sesame seeds in a dry, hot frying pan for a couple of minutes until the sesame seeds turn golden then sprinkle over the dip.
Spoon onto sourdough bread or pitta, place it in your mouth and savour the flavour. Make sure no one else gets a look-in.”

Courgette Pasta, a quick midweek supper

Who said that making something healthy for dinner couldn’t be quick? This light, summery dish definitely ticks both boxes and is perfect to enjoy with a glass of the naughty stuff on a warm summer evening.

Top Tip: you might be tempted to forget the lemon. Don’t. It brings together the flavours beautifully.

Ingredients (For 2, with enough left for tomorrow’s lunch)

  • 200g of your favourite pasta
  • 2 courgettes, grated or sliced finely
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • half a lemon, squeezed
  • good extra virgin olive oil
  • toasted pine-nuts, optional

1. Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions.

2. In the meantime, saute the onions in a little oil. When soft and translucent, add the cooked pasta. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the grated courgette. Mix through quickly.

3. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice, toasted pine nuts and season to your taste with salt and pepper. (Don’t add the salt while over the heat. It will make the courgette ‘soggy’.)

Serve this with a simple lovely fresh salad full of bright green salad leaves, red tomatoes and green cucumbers .

50% of your plate should be fruit & veg!

The USDA has just released MyPlate – the US Government’s nutritional guidelines as endorsed by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. This is the new, simplified take on the Food Pyramid.

Making the recommendation visual was important. It makes it easier to understand and also remember when putting together your meals. For more information,  go to the MyPlate website at:

Remember to eat plenty of fruit and veg with every meal. It should make up half your plate according to the MyPlate diagram below! Who are we to argue with the powers that be? 😉

Photo Credit: USDA MyPlate website