Squash, Roasted Tomato and Popped Black Bean Salad + Washington Post Q + A
There has been a lot of amazing stuff happening in my life this year and a lot of moments where I have been pinching myself and wondering if it’s all real.
Today was one of those moments when I opened my computer and read this wonderful piece all about me and what I cook in the Washington Post. It blows my mind that my books even exist but to have such nice things written about me across the seas in a country I love in a proper newspaper is quite something. I think us British can be bad at shouting about the good things that happen, so for today I’m being American.
This afternoon at 5pm UK time (midday in Washington) I am going to be live answering any questions on cooking, veg and life here. Look forward to chatting to some of you then, but in the mean time, here is a recipe I shared with TWP.
It’s is all about texture; not that it doesn’t taste fantastic, but texture is one of the things I think we often forget about when we are putting a meal together. Here it’s crisp roast squash slices, soft roast tomatoes and popped black beans, which add an amazingly crunchy, almost popcorn, element.
1 butternut or other similar-size squash
olive or coconut oil
seeds from 1 cardamom pod
300g cherry tomatoes
a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
1 × 400g tin of black beans
50g flaked coconut
100ml good Greek or coconut yoghurt
the zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lime
seeds from 1 cardamom pod
Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas 9 and get all your ingredients together.
Halve and deseed your squash and cut it into 1cm slices. Place them on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and the ground cardamom seeds. Place in the hot oven for 25 minutes, until blistered and golden, turning halfway through cooking.
Halve the cherry tomatoes and put them on another tray. Grate over the ginger and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a little oil and put into the oven with the squash; your tomatoes will take about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain your black beans well and dry them on kitchen paper. Heat a large pan on a medium heat, and once it’s nice and hot add the beans and dry fry, turning from time to time, until they pop and turn crisp.
When the time is nearly up for your squash, take it out of the oven, scatter the coconut over the top and put back into the oven for a couple of minutes to toast.
Mix the yoghurt with the lime zest and juice and the ground cardamom seeds. Season with a little salt and pepper and mix well. Take everything out of the oven and scatter over a big platter. Top with a drizzle of the cardamom yoghurt and a little more lime if it’s needed.