Introduction

This recipe just came at the right time. I had a squash and a celeriac and was looking around for a special recipe. Sent to my rescue, who else? Yotam Ottolenghi with this new recipe in the Guardian (see references). It comes with a tahini sauce and a refreshing lemon/herb accompaniment. I omitted some ingredients as I didn’t have them (e.g. dukkah) and I added some others (e.g. carrots, thyme). Enjoy!

Materials

For the vegetables
  • ½  celeriac (300g), chopped into wedges
  • 1x squash (900g), chopped into wedges
  • 300g carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1x tin chickpeas (400g), drained (240g)
  • 1x lemon, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2x tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • 2x tablespoons of rose harissa paste
  • 10g thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
For the tahini sauce
  • 75g of tahini
  • 115g of yogurt
  • 2x tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2x garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50ml of water
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200oC/fan. Add the chopped vegetables into a big lined baking tray (I used one roughly 41x33cm).  Add the tomato purée, the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss everything together for an even coating. Pour in the stock (I know is strange to add stock in a baking tray but just do it lol) and bake for 30min.

In the meantime, prepare the chickpeas. Drain the chickpeas and mix them with the harissa paste, set aside.

Peel and segment one lemon. Chop the segments (include all the lemon juice produced) and mix with the thyme and a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.

For the tahini sauce, whisk the tahini with the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, water, salt and pepper and set aside.

After 30min, take out the vegetables from the oven, turn up the heat to 220oC/fan and put the harissa chickpeas over the vegetables and bake for another 20min.

Serve the vegetables and chickpeas with the tahini sauce and the lemon/thyme mix.

Discussion-Conclusion

That was the first time I cooked celeriac and I thought it would be quite overpowering because of the intense smell but it really had a sweetness to it and almost lost its celeriac sharpness. This dish has everything: sweetness from the squash/carrots, crunchiness and spiciness from the harissa chickpeas smoothed by the tahini sauce and at the end you have this refreshing thyme/lemon mix lifting the whole dish. However, I could live without the lemon segments, and probably prefer lemon juice, but I can understand why some people would enjoy this citrusy burst in the mouth, so up to you. This dish stands as a nice side even without the sauce or the lemon/thyme mix. Overall, another clever idea from Ottolenghi and the roasted spicy chickpeas will stay with me!

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