Sunday 14 July 2013

roasted butternut squash, caramelized lemon and berbere houmous

I love houmous.  It's perfect for a quick snack on fresh bread, or as part of a larger mezze meal or BBQ accompaniment.  This recipe is packed with flavour and has influences from Africa with the traditional Ethiopian spice mix berbere.  This would be great with some warmed flat bread and smokey BBQ-ed lamb or falafel.  Check out this great falafel recipe on how to eat properly - by the brilliant Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi from their book Jerusalem

preparation time:  10 minutes
cooking time:  20-30 minutes


400g tin cooked chickpeas 
1 medium sized butternut squash
1 head of garlic
1 lemon (I used fresh lemon but a preserved one would be lovely too)
8 tbs olive oil
4 tbs plain yogurt 
2 tbs cumin seeds
1 heaped tsp berbere spice mix 
small bunch coriander/parsley chopped (keep a little back for garnishing)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. wash and roughly chop your squash - you can peel it if you want but I didn't bother as it softens down in the cooking process.  
  3. add your squash to a roasting pan with the head of garlic.  Leave this unpeeled as it helps protect the garlic inside and produces wonderfully sweet and soft roasted cloves.  Add the cumin seeds and toss the squash and garlic in about 4tbs of your olive oil.  Roast for 20-30 minutes.  It's done when the squash is slightly caramelized and a knife pierces it easily.  
  4. about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time add the roughly chopped lemon - so it can soften and caramelize too.
  5. when it's cooked and slightly cooled remove the skins from the garlic cloves then add to a food processor with the squash, lemon, chickpeas, yogurt, remaining olive oil, chopped herbs, berbere spice and salt and pepper.  You may need to whizz this up in a few lots depending on how big your processor is.  This would also work well with a hand held blender.  
  6. serve garnished with more herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

I am also entering this recipe onto: Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and Chezfoti to go with their BBQ and BBQ sides theme.

Four Seasons Food

Cooking with Herbs

July's entry hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage


  1. Oh gosh! This sounds like the most heavenly hummus recipe I've ever come across! I'm so going to look out for some berbere and try it out. Loving the additions of roast butternut, garlic and lemon too. Thank you so much for entering it the Four Seasons Food challenge, definitely a fab barbie side dish!

  2. I love houmous too! I love the idea of adding squash and all those lovely spices.Such a great BBQ side dish...served as a dip or even in a pitta with some lamb etc... Yummy. Thanks for entering FSF x

    1. Thanks so much Louisa and Anneli for your lovely, generous comments - you've made my day :-D I love cooking and experimenting with flavours and am so pleased to be able to share my recipes with others. It's what it's all about: sharing the love of cooking and eating with others xx

  3. Yum. I love it. Nothing like a big chunk of Turkish bread dipped right into the centre of this lovely dip/sauce.

    1. Thanks for stopping by - and you are definitely right about the Turkish bread - delicious! Do you have any good dip recipes?

  4. What a FABULOUS and VERY innovative recipe, I love it!And as for the Berbere spices, that is such a great idea for a Arabic dip, I bet it is great with flat breads or toasted pitta bread. Thanks, Karen

    1. I thought it would work well with the squash and chickpeas. Really love berbere. Looking for some more recipes to try out with it. Thanks again for your lovely comments :-)