Lunch al-desko: Butternut squash and feta salad

In weather like this it’s tempting to eat out all the time (for me anyway), but if you have a nice outdoor area near your workplace you can get all the benefits without any of the spends!

I love Middle Eastern food and using Za’atar (a blend of Middle Eastern spices available in any good ethnic store and probably most Tescos) tends to transport me to somewhere far more exotic.

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Roasting #butternutsquash to make the #salad with #feta and #chickpeas currently on my blog (link in bio). Of course, after I roasted it I realised we had no feta or chickpeas so I grilled some #halloumi, sprinkled the squash with #zaatar and made a dressing from some Mr Pettigrews #raspberry special and olive oil (no #lemons either!). Sprinkled with chopped chives and mint and served. Delicious, and plenty left for tomorrow's #lunch #aldesko. After being stuck today with no #bread in the house for a #sandwich I ended up buying one in #Spar. YUK. Won't be doing that again. Lucky to have these beautiful #local salad leaves complete with #pretty #flowers in my local #cornershop! #food #summersalads #easycooking #foodie #simple #recipe

A post shared by Deirdre O'Shaughnessy (@deshocks) on

This salad is really easy to make, and once you’ve the squash roasted you can keep the components separate and assemble as you need it. Feta goes off very quickly so if you’re planning to eat this over a couple of days for lunch, just use the feta you need that day and keep the rest in foil or a sealed container in the fridge and use it as you need it.

Roasted squash is also useful for other things so if, like me, you get bored easily after eating the same thing twice, you can use half of it for something else – on a pizza, with some pasta, bacon and cream, or even on its own as a side for meat.

If you don’t like chickpeas, use some mixed seeds (toast them lightly in a dry pan first). If you do, you can use them cold from the can, tossed in the dressing first to coat them, or you can roast them in a separate pan to the squash if you want them to be a little more chewy – they’ll only stay crispy for day one.

What’s in it:
One butternut squash
Pack of feta cheese
Salad leaves of your choice
Fresh herbs of your choice (I had chives, mint and parsley in the garden but coriander works really well too)
1 clove garlic
Tin chickpeas
1 tbsp za’atar
2 tbsp good olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:
– Preheat your oven to 200C
– Drain your chickpeas. If you want to roast them, dry them thoroughly with a tea towel or kitchen paper, toss in some olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven at the same time as the squash but on a separate tray, and keep tossing them.
– Peel and chop butternut squash into 1 inch chunks
– Mince the garlic, toss with squash, 1 tbsp olive oil, and za’atar. Place squash in the oven for about 25 minutes (check it after 20 – if you can cut it with the side of a fork, it’s done)
– Make your dressing – mix the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
– Assemble as you go and enjoy!

EDIT: This picture is of a butternut squash roasting whole… I was just too lazy to chop it… 



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