The flavours in this casserole literally sing of the Mediterranean, warm meltingly tender vegetables in a rich, spiced tomato sauce and topped with creamy feta yoghurt, lemon and fresh herbs. The casserole is slow cooked for 75 minutes, which literally confits the tomatoes and chickpeas in the olive oil until they burst with flavour in your mouth. It’s the perfect dish on its own, mopped up with crusty bread, as it creates so much delicious juice but can also be served with a side of pilaf rice or cous cous. AND it's made all in one roasting tray, which makes it so easy to throw together and clean up afterwards! For a vegan alternative, substitute the feta yoghurt for a dairy free yoghurt.
Serves 2-3 alone, or 4 with a side of rice.
500g butternut squash, deseeded and chopped into 3cm
200g cherry tomatoes, mixed colours
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 carrots, finely sliced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly bashed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp allepo pepper (Turkish red pepper flakes, or substitute sweet paprika)
½ tsp ground chilli
1x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1x 400g can of chickpeas, drained
75ml olive oil
200g Greek yoghurt
200g feta, crumbled
1 tsp dried mint
1 lemon, juiced
Handful of fresh parlsey, roughly chopped
Handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.
2. Chop all the veg and place in a large roasting tray or oven proof saucepan. Don’t panic if it seems like a lot of veg for one tray as it will reduce. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and the chickpeas.
3. Add the dried spices, salt and black pepper. A generous pinch of salt will really lift the flavours of the dish. Toss all together to evenly coat in the spices then drizzle over the olive oil.
4. Cover with a sheet of foil and place in the oven for 1 hour until cooked through and tender. After 1 hour, turn up the oven to 220C/200C fan. Take off the foil and return the dish to the oven for 15-20 mins, to thicken the sauce and caramelise the veg.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the yoghurt by mixing in a bowl with the dried mint and crumbled feta. Add half the juice of the lemon and taste to season with salt and pepper.
6. When the casserole is ready, leave to stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Serve warm, with a big spoon of yoghurt and scatter over the fresh herbs. Fresh toasted bread is a must.