London chef, restaurateur, and bestselling cookbook writer Yotam Ottolenghi staged somewhat of a culinary revolution with his newspaper column in London’s Guardian years ago, where he proposed flavorful vegetarian recipes—like roasted eggplant with turmeric yogurt and pomegranate seeds—that literally changed the way the country cooked. The innovative, Israeli-born chef helms five restaurants and delis in London, including Nopi, which is also the namesake of his sixth and latest cookbook ($24; amazon.com).
The collection of Middle Eastern-inflected dishes (a flavor profile for which Ottolenghi is known) is a joint effort between Ottolenghi and the restaurant’s head chef Ramael Scully, who comes from an extensive line of accomplished female cooks. His Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian background reveals itself in ingredients such as Korean spice paste and curry leaves. Scully assured InStyle that exotic additions such as these are worth the splurge, since they crop up frequently throughout the book.
The complexity of the ingredients mirrors the intricacy of the directions (like the Celery Root Purée with Spiced Cauliflower and Quail Eggs, which requires a high level of organization to execute). Ottolenghi’s most important piece of advice for home cooks? “Prepare everything in advance, as much as you can, if you’re entertaining. Don’t leave anything to the last minute.”
If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving dish to top any that you’ve ever created or tasted, look no further than the gingery, tangy, and sweet Butternut Squash with Ginger Tomatoes and Lime Yogurt from Nopi. Just be sure to plan ahead!
Butternut Squash with Ginger Tomatoes and Lime Yogurt
1 medium butternut squash, trimmed, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, then cut widthwise into 1-inch slices
3 tbsp olive oil
6 large plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 1/4-inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1 red chile, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 packed tbsp dark muscovado sugar
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
Scant 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lime, plus 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1/5 oz cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 oz cashew nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/3 oz crispy store-bought fried shallots (optional; can be found in Asian food stores)
1. Preheat the oven to 465°F.
2. Mix the squash with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, 2 tsp of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 340°F.
4. Place the tomato halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of salt, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil, and cook for 80 minutes, until softened.
5. Place the ginger, chile, garlic, sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt in a medium bowl. Mix to form a paste, then spoon this on top of the tomatoes. Cook for another 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are caramelized, and set aside to cool.
6. Place all the ingredients for the lime yogurt in a small bowl, with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
7. Spread the squash out on a large platter and layer the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the lime yogurt, sprinkle with the cilantro, cashews, and shallots, and serve.