This is one of my all-time favorite things to make, especially for parties since it serves a ton of people and is good hot or cold (and every temperature in between). If you’ve eaten food at my house before, there’s a bigbig chance you’ve had this. It’s quick to make, stores and reheats well as leftovers and it also takes a lot of familiar things and turns them on their heads. Not many people have had apples in savory applications, or hell, even yogurt. I really think it’s the perfect dish and will likely always be the first thing that comes to mind when I think of butternut squash. I used to make this with israeli couscous but switched to barley for more fiber (which this dish has over half the daily recommended value of in one serving), making this an excellent source of pre and probiotics, but feel free to substitute with any grain you have on hand.
The vegan yogurt pictured here is homemade, I’ll hopefully get a recipe out soon but have lots more experimenting to do before that happens. If using store bought, I recommend getting one as thick and tangy or as close to greek yogurt as possible (I’ve heard good things about Culina!)
Spice Crusted Butternut Squash and Yogurt Sauce over Barley Salad
serves 6 as a main or 10 as a side
for the squash
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small squares
1-2 tbsp smoked paprika (I use 2 and it’s not spicy/hot whatsoever)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon (or better yet, garam masala or pumpkin pie spice)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp corriander pods, ground
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 450.
In a large bowl, add the butternut squash and all the spices then mix well. Pour in the olive oil and stir until evenly coated. On a parchment lined baking sheet, roast the butternut squash for 30 minutes, flipping once half way.
for the barley salad
1 cup pearled barley
2.5 cups vegetable broth
1 fennel bulb, cut into thin strips (not the stalks or fronds)
1 apple (I used honeycrisp), cored and chopped into small chunks
1/2 red onion cut into strips
In an instant pot, add the pearled barley and vegetable broth. Cook for 20 minutes. Or on the stove, bring to a boil and simmer until tender, at least 40 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, I like to let it sit in a strainer in the sink to release any extra moisture.
In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, brown the red onion, fennel and apple, then stir in the barley until it has released some moisture and seared slightly.
for the yogurt sauce
1 cup thick vegan yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (better yet, a whole chopped up preserved lemon)
2″ knob of ginger, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley, thyme and cilantro here, but in the past have used any combination of mint, dill and oregano as well)
Stir all ingredients together until well combined.
In the bottom of a high rimmed baking dish, add the barley salad, stirring to make sure it’s in a flat, even layer, then top with the roasted butternut squash and finally drizzle over with the yogurt sauce.