Char-grilled Squash with Walnut Salsa

Pickled walnuts are very odd. Picked when the nuts are still green and unripe, then soaked in brine, they go completely black and soft, almost to the point that when you rub the black skin off, the nut can easily crumble. This is the first and only recipe I have ever come across using pickled walnuts. I now have a half full jar of them in the fridge so would welcome any suggestions on what to do with them.

This is another recipe I cooked with Ottolenghi at the Vegetarian Cookery School. Just a couple of minor alterations. I used spring onions rather than red to give a milder flavour and added a few shelled walbuts to give some texture.

100g pickled walnuts – black skin gently removed and the remaining soft walnut roughly chopped
100g shelled walnuts – chopped
5-6 spring onions – finely sliced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 red chili – deseeded and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
1 butternut or other squash – deseeded and cut into wedges or large chunks
handful of coriander – roughly chopped
a few dill leaves
150g or so of natural yogurt or labneh
salt and ground black pepper

Turn the oven onto 200C then heat a large griddle pan. Toss the pieces of squash in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the hot griddle and cook on either side for 4-5 minutes until coloured with charred stripes. Once you have done all the squash this way, place on a baking tray in the oven and roast for 15 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool then arrange on a large plate.

Mix the walnuts and pickled walnuts with the vinegar, salt, sugar, onions, chili, coriander and allspice and spread this evenly over the cooled squash.

Finish by decorating the dish with large dollops of yogurt (or labneh), a sprinkling of coriander leaves and a few dill leaves.


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