I found this gorgeous (and easy!) recipe on the BBC Food website and just instantly knew I had to make it. It’s courtesy of Sabrina Ghayour who’s lovely cookbook Persiana I absolutely adore. The Persian pesto with pistachios contains dill, a herb that’s very Scandinavian for me, and I like exploring new ways of using it.
I had this for supper one day, but it works just as well at a mezze table, as a starter or on a buffet.
Butternut squash with Persian pesto, feta and pomegranate seeds, serves 4
Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe
1 large butternut squash, quartered lengthways (skin-on), and seeds removed
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
150 g feta
100 g pomegranate seeds
For the pesto:
100 g pistachios
70 g parmesan
100 ml olive oil
1 small bunch coriander
1 small bunch parsley
1 small bunch dill
1 red chilli
1 lemon, juice only
2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Rub each wedge of butternut squash with oil and season generously. Place on the lined baking tray. Roast the squash for about 45-50 minutes, just until the edges have begun to brown slightly. Check the squash is cooked by inserting a knife – if it slides in easily the squash is cooked.
For the pesto, add the pistachios and cheese to a food processor. Pulse to break them into small pieces and add enough olive oil to slacken the mixture to your desired consistency (you may not need all the oil). Add all the herbs and a little more olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and give the mixture one last pulse. Taste the pesto, to make sure it has enough salt and acidity, and allow it to rest in the fridge until you need it.
To serve, place the butternut squash on plates, drizzled generously with the pesto. Crumble your feta over the top and scatter some pomegranate seeds over to finish.