Roasted Squash with Tahini and Za’atar from ‘Jerusalem’

There is an abundance of winter squash available at the moment; classic Butternut squash, sweeter Coquina squash, round squash and from the same family, pumpkins, delightful munchkins, marrows and globe courgettes. I like experimenting with different varieties and as soon as I bought these home I knew that I wanted to try a recipe from Yotam Ottoleghi and Sami Tamimi’s new book Jerusalem for roasted squash with tahini and za’atar. There is plenty more for me to explore inside the latest addition to my cookery book shelf and you can find lots of Ottoleghi recipes to try over at The Guardian, too.


First, the squash is roasted in the oven with olive oil, onions, salt and pepper 

Roasted Squash

 Next, you make a tahini sauce with tahini paste, lemon garlic and salt. Then you sprinkle over some of the Middle Eastern spice za’atar.

I’m missing toasted pine nuts and parsley!  

Roasted Squash Tahini Za'atar 

I hope I’m in time to link this post up to the October One Ingredient Challenge co-hosted by Nazima at her new blog Franglais Kitchen and Laura at How to Cook Good Food. By coincidence, Nazima made this dish, too, adding grilled halloumi and polenta.

Nazima will also be rounding up October’s Simple and in Season event and in a couple of days, Simple and in Season will be back home at Fabulicious Food! for November –  I hope you’ll join in!

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  1. Thanks for the mention Ren. Isnt this a wonderful recipe. I have to say I have only recently discovered Za’atar and I love it.

    1. It is, so much more to explore in Jerusalem, too. I’ve only just got started. A lovely book.

  2. This looks delicious Ren. I’ve been experimenting with Za’tar today. We had it over roast potatoes and I also used it with roasted pumpkin seeds. I need to get to Morocco to get the real stuff though. I’m not convinced the brand I have is very authentic

    1. Yes its a bit hit and miss. I got a blend recently that I wasn’t too happy with. Kellie at Food to Glow makes her own blend and Silvena Rowe has her own Quince blend, I think on the internet somewhere. Worth experimenting!

    1. Thanks Charlotte, lovely and seasonal!

    1. Yes, perfect for left-over pumkin! x

  3. I have all three of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks and love to cook and tweak from them often: ‘Med-East’ is my favourite marriage of cuisines. I do a similar recipe to this one but with roasted aubergines and extra sumac, so this is great autumn-winter version. I like Nazima’s idea of polenta and halloumi, too. Yum! Btw, to Mark Willis, I have a recipe for za’atar on my site (in the index) if you want to see the ingredients first. Steenberg’s do a nice one if you don’t want to make it.

    1. Ooh yes I love Halloumi so Nazima’s recipe appealed to me, too. I loved your post on making your own spice mix, I will be over to re-investigate!

  4. I don’t think I have ever experienced za’atar. Can you decribe its taste? And where would I get some if I wanted some? Presumably not in a supermarket…

    1. Hi Mark, it is available in most supermarkets now, sometimes it is called ZATAR, too. It is made from a mixture of dried herbs, sometimes including thyme, oregano and marjoram as well as sesame seeds, but almost every blend if different! As Kellie says, you can easily make your own, too. It isn’t spicy, it goes well with lemon/citrus and can be sprinkled onto food after cooking.

  5. How delicious this looks and I know it will taste amazing too as I love Za’atr and tahini . They work so well in so many dishes. I have been roasting my fair share of pumpkins and squashes recently and I’m sure this will now be on my list of bookmarked dishes to try out.
    Ottolenghi is such a genius!
    Thanks for entering this dish into One Ingredient Ren 🙂 xx

    1. Thank you Laura, yes I also made a wonderful chicken and pumkin dish, roasted with za’atar, I am a bit addicted at the moment. Happy Halloween, enjoy Trick or Treating!

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