Coffee-BBQ Roasted Squash

THE FESTIVE SEASON IS WELL AND TRULY UNDERWAY and this is my first seasonal post please forgive me.

But on the plus side, we’ve got a brand spanking new wooden table which will now be featuring quite prominently in most posts going forward.  Are you excited I’m excited.

I was recently asked by HER Haggerston to cater their 5th Birthday – very exciting on all fronts – and then gifted with some cold brew Coffee Concentrate with which to recipe test.

Now, bear with me while I preface this recipe by telling you that I don’t actually like, nor drink, coffee.  However.  About 2 years ago I tried Cold Brew in Austin, Texas.  It was the first time I could probably have drunk an entire – ok half – cup of coffee.  Smooth to the taste, not too acidic on the stomach, and little-to-no bitter after taste.  Hallelujah.  [For those moments when caffeine is just the only way, there is finally a solution].

As you might have guessed, coffee concentrate is a more concentrated coffee, crafted using the cold brew method.  I’ll let HER – pun intended – get into the nitty gritty with you.  But I will tell you that I blew my own mind with this Coffee-BBQ Sauce-Glazed Roasted Butternut Squash.  [And I mean that as humbly as possible].  But, actually.  It is so, yummy.  And so party-season appropriate.

The coffee concentrate adds an intense depth of flavour, heightened by the BBQ spices and enriched by the roasted squash.  Ready in the ‘flashest of flashes’ [yes that’s a reference to you-know-who in you-know-what - what can I say, ‘tis the season].  And perfect for party season.


Coffee-BBQ Roasted Squash
nibs etc. original recipe.  Serves 20-30 hungry guests as canapés, 3-4 as side, 2 as main.

For the roasted Butternut Squash
1 Butternut Squash
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp (Smoked) Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Turmeric
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the Coffee-Spiked BBQ Sauce
1 Shallot
1 tsp Tomato Paste
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp (Smoked) Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 cup HER Coffee Concentrate
10g Dark Chocolate (70%)
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1/2 Can Tinned Chopped Tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 200*C Fan/210*C/410F. 
Wash, dice – don’t peel! – your butternut squash into roughly 2cm cubes (eye-ball, don’t be whipping out the measuring tape) and place in a baking tray.
Drizzle over olive oil, and toss with the seasoning and spices.  Spread into an even layer on said baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until just fork tender.  
In the meantime, sweat your shallot until translucent and softened, 2-5 minutes, before adding your tomato paste, seasoning and spices.  Cook down until shallots are coated in spices, browned all over, and starting to caramelise. 
Add the coffee concentrate to the pot to deglaze, before adding the chocolate and golden syrup.  Stir until dissolved and well incorporated, for a few minutes.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes, stir, and allow to simmer on medium/medium-high heat for10 or so minutes.
At this point, your butternut squash should be ready: add to the pan and toss gently - so as to keep the squash cubes whole - to coat evenly in sauce.  Simmer for a further 5 minutes before taking off the heat, and serving hot or warm.

Presented as bite-sized canapés: one cube per shard of your favourite cracker or oat-cake, with a smear of labneh/strained yoghurt underneath, and a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley.
Accompaniment to any main dish, be it grilled fish, eggs, meat.
As a main: dolloped on top of a jacket potato, couscous or rice, wrapped inside a tortilla, filling a taco, on a bed of wilted kale or fresh greens with a drizzle of olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar.  OOH and a handful of crumbled feta.