Za'atar roasted squash

052/18: Za’atar Roasted Squash

052/18: Za’atar Roasted Squash with Spiced Yoghurt and Pickled Chillies

I cooked Za’atar Cod with Relish last week from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour which is a really nice book with loads of great recipes. With so many good recipes in the book and my previously explained love of Za’atar, the next dish on the list to cook was Za’atar Roasted Squash with Spiced Yoghurt and Pickled Chillies. Although listed as a side dish I planned to have it as a main course in my quest to cook more veg dishes.

020/18: Mana’eesh

The recipe is from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour – It’s a great book, lots of nice recipes in there:

The Ingredients:

Za’atar still seems quite hard to get hold of. I got £17.99 for 1kg from Amazon. I have seen Sumac in some supermarkets but I got this from Amazon for £5.90 for 113g. Green pickled chillies seem easy to get but I haven’t seen the red ones so I ordered those off Amazon as well – 6 jars for £8.94. Lucky I like chillies!

The Charcoal:

Oxford Charcoal Hardwood Blend – Love this stuff, slow burning, burns hot and smells fantastic. I topped up with some fresh charcoal and used 3 flamers to create a fairly equal fire in the bowl. Usual method of lid up, both vents fully open for 20 minutes then lid down and both vents set to 1/4 which tends to hover at 200c.

Za'atar roasted squash

The Prep:

I had 2 medium butternut squashes rather than 1 large one but I cut them in half then sliced them vertically and removed the skin. Maybe there is an easy way to take the skin off but I used a sharp knife carefully and it took a while but I didn’t lose any fingers! Rapeseed oil and Za’atar mixed in a bowl then rubbed all over the squash before sprinkling some Maldon sea salt on top.

The Cook:

The divide and conquer system was set up with both heat deflectors in. My thinking was that the recipe calls to oven cook it on a baking tray and the heat deflectors would help replicate that kind of heat without direct flame but using the grill would allow some smoke to hit it. I added a couple of chunks of pear wood from Smokewood Shack, not used that very often but fancied a light fruit wood smoke on this one.

Za'atar roasted squash

After 20 minutes they were taking on a nice colour.

Za'atar roasted squash

Whilst they were cooking I made the Spiced Yoghurt: Greek Yoghurt, mint leaves, sumac, ground coriander, rapeseed oil, lemon juice and rind plus black pepper.

When I went back to check the squash some bits were a little more charred than I was planning for, no big drama though I just flipped them all over. The grill must have been running hotter over the left than the right.

Za'atar roasted squash

I gave them another 10 minutes then took them off.

Za'atar roasted squash

Time to Plate Up:

Squash, topped with the Spiced Yoghurt, chopped parsley and pickled chillies. As I write this up I saw the Nigella Seeds were meant to go on at this point and we missed that when plating up! Will need to cook it again and make sure to put them on!

Za'atar roasted squash

Time to Eat:

Quick sneak of some spare squash in the Spiced Yoghurt whilst plating up – Wow! What a great taste 🙂

Za'atar roasted squash


Another great dish from Persiana and a lovely veg dish. Although it’s meant to be a side dish it worked well as a main dish for me but we felt it would work really well with a roast chicken, I remember seeing a few chicken dishes in the book so might cook it again with one of those. The squash tasted great, soft like sweet potato but with a nice char from the grill and a nice smokey taste from the pear wood. The Spiced Yoghurt was fantastic and worked really well with the squash. Good dish, recommended!

Cook Difficulty: 2/5 
Cook Duration: Medium: 3/5
Cook Equipment: Kamado Joe
Cook Method: Indirect / Deflectors in
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Hardwood Blend
Smoking Wood: Smokewood Shack Pear Chunks
Cook temperature: 200c
Cook time: 40 minutes
Internal temperature: Unknown
Notes: 1: Watch the heat zones, don’t char the squash too much

2: Don’t forget the Nigella Seeds.


If you like the look of this recipe you can buy the book below.

The recipe is from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour – It’s a great book, lots of nice recipes in there:



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