Sweet roasted butternut with the spicy heat of harissa. It's addictively delicious.
Here in Australia (and New Zealand), butternut is called a pumpkin. Everywhere else, it's a squash. Regardless, cooking it this way points up its inherent sweetness, contrasting it against the spicy, mild fire of my raw harissa and punctuated with segments of roasted red onion.
My version of harissa already contains olive oil, so there's no need to add more. If you're using a prepared harissa, you'll need to add some olive oil to get the butternut to roast up nicely.
There's no need to peel a butternut unless you can't bear not to. Your choice. And this recipe works just as well, in a slightly squishier way, with sweet potato instead, or a mixture of butternut and sweet potato.
I've filed it here on the site as a side dish, but I have to admit that I hardly ever eat it as one. I'm much more likely to make up a big tray of it, drop a fried egg on top and eat it all by its glorious self.
For 2, or 4 as a side dish.
450g (1 pound) butternut pumpkin (squash)
1 red onion
2 tablespoons raw harissa
Set your oven to 200°C (400°F).
Cut the pumpkin into 5cm (2 inch) slices, and cut each slice into 3 or 4 pieces.
Cut the onion from tip to root into 8 segments.
Measure the raw harissa into a roomy bowl and toss the pumpkin in it until well covered. Tip onto a baking tray.
Toss the onion segments in whatever harissa remains in the bowl, and scatter the pieces among the butternut.
Slide the tray into the oven for about 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is cooked through and slightly charred along its cut edges.