Named Cookbook of the Year by the Sunday Times (UK)
Delightful and inventive Middle Eastern recipes from a husband-and-wife duo and Ottolenghi protégées.
“Even a few minutes in Honey & Co. can feel like a sojourn in the Middle East.” -The Financial Times.
“The ingredient that is in every mouthful, that isn’t on the menu, is the huge dollop of home-made love.” -The Sunday Times.
‘The recipes are as reliable, imaginative and savoury as you’d hope from Ottolenghi alumni, but the other big draw is the narrative…as good a read as it is a meal primer. Read it from cover to cover, but see if you aren’t immediately tempted into the kitchen by page 1.’ -The Guardian (UK).
This recipe brings together two great ladies who have never met. We picked up the original recipe from a cookbook by Sherry Ansky (a most gifted cook and even more gifted writer), and though we prepared it many times with great success, we got the best results with the heather honey we received from our good friend who is now our publisher, Elizabeth. This is a simple preparation with few ingredients, but it is one of the best recipes in this book. The hazelnuts are there for their good looks and crunch, and they add a special nuttiness to the whole thing, but of course you can omit them if you wish.
Serves 6-8 to share as a mezze
1 large butternut squash (about 1 1/2– 1 ¾ . lbs/ 700– 800g, to give 3 1/4 cups/600g once peeled and deseeded)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup/60g tahini paste
2 1/2 tsp heather honey
1/4 cup/30g whole hazelnuts, salted, roasted and roughly chopped
Peel the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Because I have small hands, peeling a whole squash can be quite hard, and I find it easier to cut it into wedges and peel each wedge separately. Cut the peeled butternut into large dice (about ¾ in/2cm square). Try to make the pieces evenly sized so that they cook in the same time. Put in a heavy- bottomed saucepan with a lid, sprinkle with the salt and cover.
Place the saucepan on the stove on a very low heat and set a timer for 10 minutes.
Don’t be tempted to remove the lid before then, as you want some steam to start developing. When the timer sounds, lift the lid and give the squash a good stir, then cover again and set the timer for a further 10 minutes. I repeat this four or five times. You will see the progress— the
cubes will start to break down and become a purée. If some of the butternut sticks to the bottom of the pan, scrape it with the tip of a wooden spoon, as there is so much flavor down there. You want to stop cooking once the squash has formed a thick paste with no visible water content.
Remove the pan from the stove and add the tahini and honey. Mix well and allow to cool before adjusting the flavor with more honey or salt, as it will change when cool. You may need to add a little water to get a lighter consistency — it’s a matter of personal preference how light or thick you want to make it.
Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the dip just before serving. Any leftover dip will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Recipe Courtesy Little, Brown and Company Copyright© Saritamar Media Limited 2014
Photography© Patricia Niven 2014