Roasted Butternut Squash With Labneh, Harissa Brown Butter, and Sage

Spencer Lengsfield
by Spencer Lengsfield
2 Servings
40 min

This is my seasonal take on Yotam Ottolenghi’s grilled zucchini with yoghurt and saffron butter. I went for honey and turmeric roasted and charred squash slices, served over homemade labneh with harissa infused brown butter and crispy sage leaves. Labneh is a tangy Middle Eastern yoghurt cheese. I made my own here by straining Greek yoghurt for 24 hours, but you can strain it for up to 48 for a thicker texture. Because it’s extra thick, the texture allows for pools of the spicy brown butter to collect, which is great as the squash doesn't hold onto the butter very well.

This is perfect for a light lunch, side dish, or a unique dinner party starter, and is best enjoyed with some crusty bread to mop everything up!

Homemade labneh - it is sometimes served in a ball like this, often rolled in za'atar, dill, sumac, or walnuts.

Roasted Butternut Squash With Labneh, Harissa Brown Butter, and Sage
Recipe details
  • 2  Servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 40 min
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For the labneh
  • 400g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 good pinches of salt
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
For the squash
  • 1/2 butternut Squash, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
For the harissa butter
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp harissa paste or spice powder
  • 6 sage leaves
  • Pinch of salt
To serve
  • A few mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • A pinch of za'atar (optional)
  • Crusty bread
For the labneh
Start this at least 24 hours before you want to serve. In a bowl, mix together your yoghurt, salt, and lemon juice.
Place a strainer or sieve over another bowl, and line it with either doubled up cheesecloth, or I used a cotton pillowcase. Place your yoghurt mixture in the cheesecloth/pillowcase, and tie up the excess fabric. Leave in the fridge.
The next day, give the labneh a firm squeeze to remove any excess liquid, then place your plate and gently spread out with a spoon. If you want to serve the labneh on its own, finish it with a good drizzle of olive oil and a large pinch of za'atar.
For the squash
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice your squash in half lengthways, then scoop out the seeds. Place the squash half on its side, then cut fairly thin slices.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, then arrange your squash slices on top. Drizzle over some olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, and turmeric, then make sure everything's well coated.
Roast in the oven for around 5-10 minutes, or until the squash is softened but hasn't yet got any colour on the outside.
Remove from the oven, then heat a non-stick pan on medium/high with a splash of oil. Add your squash slices and cook for a minute or so on each side, just until you've got a light char. Remove, and set aside on a plate lined with kitchen roll.
For the brown butter
Melt your unsalted butter on a medium/high heat in a non-stick pan, along with your sage leaves, swirling constantly so the butter browns evenly.
When your sage leaves are crispy and your butter has little brown flecks in it, remove the sage leaves and add your harissa and a small pinch of salt. Whisk to combine, then turn off the heat.
Now you're ready to assemble. Place the charred squash on top of the labneh, and drizzle over a good helping of your harissa brown butter. Finish with some flaky salt over the squash, then top with your crispy sage leaves, and scatter over your chopped mint. Enjoy!
  • Ilona Ilona on Nov 18, 2023

    Excellent recipe...I made it twice, using different kinds of store bought labneh. Came out very well with creamy Turkish labneh. Wonderful way to enjoy squash.