Cumin-maple roasted delicata squash with harissa chickpeas and lime yoghurt


November! I can’t quite get my head around this. This week (today actually - November 2nd) marks the one year anniversary of our departure from Surry Hills. One year ago, our family of five boarded a plane to Paris, the start of our great National Lampoons European adventure - two months on the road through France, Italy, Germany, Finnish Lapland, London and finally to our new lives in New York City. 

Twelve months on, to be completely honest, life still feels a little surreal. Life is as normal and as frenetic as ever – three kids at school, another book in the bag, cooking, writing and blogging, starting a new business, coffee with friends, old and new. But amidst all this, I still need to pinch myself (often) that I am living in NYC. For those of you who have spent time here, you will know what I mean. For those of you yet to visit, you will feel it when you step foot on New York terrain. This city is magical on so many levels. Yes, it is busy, crowded and overwhelming at times, but it also brims with a positive energy that just slaps you in the face. Everybody is a nobody and a somebody at the same time. That is what I love about New York City – it gives us all, no matter how jaded, the opportunity to dream a little. 


With November upon us, I’m starting to think of our first holiday season in the US. Everywhere you turn in NYC right now, there are pumpkins, gourds, squash. It has been amazing to see all the varieties of squash over here. A few weeks ago, I attended a potluck dinner with a few fun and friendly NY-based food bloggers - my friend Jodi Moreno, who blogs at What’s Cooking, Good Looking, brought along a lovely roasted delicata with dukkah and tahini dish which I couldn’t get out of my head. I haven’t eaten a lot of delicata squash before, but I found this dish incredibly satisfying. The flesh is mellow and sweet and the skin is soft enough to eat. 

This recipe features delicata roasted with cumin seeds and a hit of maple syrup, teamed with hot, harissa coated chickpeas, tamed ever so slightly by lime yoghurt. For the chickpeas, I’ve used my absolute favourite brand of harissa from my genius friends at NYShuk


Cumin-maple roasted delicata squash with harissa chickpeas and lime yoghurt

If you can’t find delicata squash, use butternut squash or whatever pumpkin you can find! 

Gluten free | Vegan if you omit the butter and yoghurt

Serves 4

  • 2 delicata squash, halved lengthways and deseeded

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

  • handful of coriander leaves

  • sea salt and black pepper

Harissa Chickpeas

  • 2 tins chickpeas, drained

  • 2 tbsp harissa paste

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • zest of 1 lime

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • knob of butter

Lime Yoghurt

  • 1 cup of Greek yoghurt

  • juice of 1 lime

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 180˚C/350˚F.

Slice the delicata squash, with skin on, into 8mm thick pieces. Place the delicata slices on a large baking tray and sprinkle over the cumin seeds. Drizzle with maple syrup, olive oil and season with sea salt and toss to coat the delicata. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes or until tender and turning golden.

Meanwhile, place the chickpeas in a bowl with the harissa paste, sea salt and lime zest and toss to combine. Heat a medium frying pan to medium heat and drizzle in a couple teaspoons of olive oil along with a knob of butter. Add the harissa coated chickpeas and panfry for 5 minutes.

To make the lime yoghurt, combine all the ingredients and stir well.

To serve, spread the lime yoghurt onto a large serving platter, top with a layer of harissa chickpeas, then a layer of roasted delicata. Continue layering until you have used up all the chickpeas and delicata. Top with a big handful of coriander leaves and a scatter of pumpkin seeds.

SALADHetty McKinnon