March 22nd, 2009


Creamy Butternut Squash and Butter Bean Salad

I was inspired to make this salad after visiting Ottolenghi in Notting Hill. If you have ever had the opportunity to visit any of the Ottolenghi shops you are seriously spoilt for choice. As soon as you enter the premises the produce literally spills from the counters, it’s fantastic everything in abundance.  I dare you to walk in an Ottolenghi and not feel inspired to go home that day and cook up a storm.

This delicious creamy butternut squash and butter beans salad makes a perfect main meal or a hearty side dish. Mashing half the roasted butternut squash gives the salad the creamy texture alongside the giant butter beans and the crunchy texture is added by the toasted butternut squash seeds. I love the smoky roasted flavours of the butternut and the Romano peppers. It’s a rather romantic dish, one I would feel good about serving to loved ones.

The butter beans also have a special meaning to me, I buy them at Borough market from Brindisa in large glass jars. The giant butter beans are creamy and rather seductive looking. Apart from using these giant beans in a salad I also like to add them to a Andalusian Bean Casserole spiked with smoked paprika and chorizo sausage. My mouth is watering again and I have already had my portion of this delicious salad….


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 50ml olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 250g cooked giant butter beans
  • ¼ tsp Ras-el-Hanout
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Romano pepper
  • 1 spring onion sliced finely
  • 50g washed rocket leaves
  • 3tbsp chopped coriander
  • ¼ pickled lemon chopped finely

Preheat the oven to 200°C .

Cut the butternut squash in half, use a large spoon and scrape the seeds from the cavity, set aside. Peel and dice the butternut squash in 10mm pieces.

Place the butternut on a oven tray dress with 1tbs of the olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden and soft to the touch.

Remove the butternut from the oven and leave to cool.

Rub the Romano pepper in olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the pepper leave to cool slightly, remove the blistered skin and seeds. Slice into thin strips while the pepper is still warm.

Turn the oven down to 120°C.

Wash the seeds and place on an oven tray and dust with a pinch of the ras-el-hanout and smoked paprika. Toast at 120°C  for 1 hour until dry and crunchy, give them a shake and a stir every now and then.

Take half of the butternut and place it into a bowl, using a fork to to mash the butternut squash adding the rest of the olive oil as you mash it up.

Add the drained giant butter beans, the rest of the roasted butternut squash, smoked paprika and ras-el-hanout, chopped coriander, chopped pickled lemon, sliced roasted Romano pepper and sliced spring onions along with seasoning to the mashed butternut squash and gently fold it all together.

Arrange the salad on a large serving platter and garnish with the rocket leaves and the toasted butternut squash seeds.

Serves 4 large portions or 6 smaller sides

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