Dukkah—a condiment of nuts, seeds, and spices—has its origin in ancient Egypt, but this innovative recipe from chef Chris Feldmeier redefines dukkah in the modern spirit of vegetable-based cooking. Chris, who ran the kitchen at Bar Moruno, now closed, transforms butternut squash into a spectacular vegetable main dish with heaps of toasty, crunchy spiced nuts. It could even be the centerpiece for Thanksgiving if you celebrate sans turkey.
1 large butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 cups unsalted toasted cashews, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon toasted nigella seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes, or 1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Honey, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Halve the butternut squash lengthwise, and deeply score the flesh with a knife. Rub each half all over with 1 tablespoon of butter per half, and salt generously, using about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt per half. Arrange the squash on a baking sheet, cut-side up. Transfer it to the oven and roast until just cooked through, about 30 minutes. It should yield slightly when pressed with a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.
While the squash cooks, make the dukkah: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan, and cook until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander, and toast for 2 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. Add the cashews, and toast for 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Add the sesame seeds, nigella seeds (if using), chile flakes, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove the pan from the heat, and set aside.
To assemble, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers, add half a roasted squash, cut-side down, and cook until caramelized, 4 to 6 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter, and rub the cut side with a teaspoon of butter.
Repeat with the other half. Drizzle with honey, and heap the dukkah on top. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Reprinted from The Grand Central Market Cookbook by Adele Yellin and Kevin West. Copyright (c) 2017 by Grand Central Market. Photographs copyright (c) 2017 by Johnny Autry. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
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