Friday, November 19, 2010

Roasted chickpeas and butternut squash with cilantro-tahini dressing

I think I could quite happily live on this dish all winter, and I don't even like leftovers much. It had great taste, texture, and temperature too, leaving me with nothing to dislike, which is saying a lot. I first saw the recipe on Smitten Kitchen, but it is originally from one of the Moro cookbooks. I made a few changes, by roasting the chickpeas and onions, and by pureeing all the dressing ingredients together. Why? Well, I usually soak and cook my own chickpeas, cause I'm a nerd that way, and because I don't always like the texture of canned, so I thought roasting them would firm them up. As for the onion, I figured if everything else was cooked, that I didn't want crunchy raw onion. And because everything is cooked I'm not calling this a salad. Why do people do that? Cauliflower and cheese sauce is the same idea and nobody calls that a salad. Oh, and the sauce! I have often bought tahini, but I can't remember ever finishing it. I usually throw it out when I move. Not sure why, but this container is going to go fast, on this recipe alone. Pureeing it with the cilantro and the roasted garlic and lots of lime juice and salt made it sing, and cut the sweetness of the squash in a very good way. Try this! Just don't call it salad.
Warm butternut squash and chickpeas with tahini-cilantro dressing
Adapted from The Moro Cookbook

about 2½ pounds of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" cubes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed and patted dry (or 1½ cups of cooked and drained)
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved if large
½ teaspoon ground allspice (optional--I used it, but couldn't really taste it)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425℉. Toss all the ingredients above together on a baking sheet and cook for 25-40 minutes, till squash and onion are tender and touched with brown. Cool slightly.

¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water, plus extra to thin, if needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic, fresh for a stronger flavour, or the roasted one from above for a mellower taste
Place cilantro in food processor and chop coarsely. Add the roasted garlic from the baking tray and process again. Add the remaining ingredients and puree. Taste and add salt--I liked this a bit salty. You should end up with a bright green and very flavourful sauce.
To serve, toss squash mixture with dressing, or serve it on the side so everyone can decide how much they'd like. Garnish with cilantro. I had lots of dressing left over and found it made a great dip for vegetables. 


Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Your not salad looks great and love the changes you made. I like the zesty dressing with the sweet squash. OK I have never cooked my own chickpeas.

Valerie said...

Butternut squash, chickpeas, and tahini! May I please join you for dinner? :-)

This looks wonderful.

tasteofbeirut said...

This is my kind of dish! Love the idea of adding cilantro to the tahini dressing; perfection.

Beth said...

Mary This dish looks amazing. I am for sure making this one. Great post. I always enjopy your site B:)

Laurie @simplyscratch said...

I love cilantro and butternut squash, but would never think to put them together! This sounds like an excellent and healthy side dish! Ill have to try it and soon!

PattiCake said...

This would be adventurous for me but you make it sound so good I'll have to try it sometime soon.

A Canadian Foodie said...

You are hilarious! OK. I will NOT call it salad... but, I admit, I like the idea of calling it a salad... and I have a pasta I make with hot pasta and then I fry lardons and toss them into the hot pasta with cold chopped tomato, red onions, and whatever else I have on hand... fresh herbs, etc... mainly all salad ingredients and toss in grated cheese. It is delicious mixing the hot and the cold... so I might be the odd one out who might like the crunch of the onions, but your version sounds too good to pass up, too. I make so much hummus I never throw our my tahini, but again... you have given me the gift of this new dressing idea. I am almost a vegetarian now... just feel better not eating meat... so this looks wonderful. I do make everything myself, too... how do you cook your own chick peas... and why do you need to firm them back up?
So many questions, but only because I am crazy over trying this recipe. Cannot wait. I want to hear my tahini sing, too!

Cakelaw said...

The flavours in this dish sound fabulous, and the orange of the squash makes it easy on the eye too. I have never cooked my own chickpeas.

Jaime said...

I'm a new reader...your blog looks great! I'm dying over your adorable header with the cookie dough - genious! I have tried this recipe from Smitten Kitchen...great flavours!