From the cookbook Jerusalem, Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za’atar is a new staple in my kitchen. You may as well go ahead and double — or triple — this recipe because you won’t be able to put your fork down once you dive in.
Look at me! Blogging away! It has been almost four months since I wrote about Nico and his Ragù alla Bolognese. I know you’re just dying to know the details of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing, who I’ve seen and who’s seen me. But a lady never tells. Zipped lips.
Okay, fine. Since I can practically hear you all whining through your computer screens, just a few details: I’ve been… working. And working and working. And dating. And brunching and shopping and traveling. And thinking of starting a podcast. And thinking of starting a food company. (Lots of thinking going on over here.) And kicking butt at the gym. And relaxing. For once in my life, I’ve been relaxing.
But here I am on a Sunday afternoon with not much going on and instead of working [Disclaimer: I love my work, so when I get a little antsy on the weekends, it’s no bother to fill my time with it] or watching another season of Suits, I decided I’d do THIS. I’d blog.
My family started a tradition a few years back that we prepare foods from around the world for Christmas Eve dinner. This year, I asked to pick the country and I picked Israel, exclusively because I wanted an excuse to buy this beautiful book. If you’re a cookbook lover, please purchase a hardback copy of Jerusalem. I stood in the bookstore and felt the heft of it in my hands, ran my fingers over the glossy photos that fill each and every page, salivated as I sifted through, and I had to have it.
I chose the country, but I let Mom choose the recipes. We made Turkey and Zucchini Burgers (out of this world) and this recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za’atar. I went back for seconds and maybe thirds and each time I reached for squashies with the most tahini sauce. And crunchy, buttery, silky pine nuts. And scrumptious, earthy tahini. And pine nuts. And then more and more and more. And then I was full.
And then I made it again.
Because I needed to share it with you.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za'atar
From the cookbook Jerusalem, Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za'atar is a new staple in my kitchen. You may as well go ahead and double -- or triple -- this recipe because you won't be able to put your fork down once you dive in. If you can't find Za'atar in your local supermarket,
- 1 large butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds) cut into wedges
- 2 red onions cut into wedges
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon za’atar (may substitute Italian seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Put the squash and onion in a large mixing bowl, add 3 tablespoons of the oil, season with sea salt and black pepper and toss well. Spread on a baking sheet with the skin facing down and roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables have taken on some color and are cooked through. Keep an eye on the onions as they might cook faster than the squash and need to be removed earlier. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
To make the sauce, place the tahini in a small bowl along with the lemon juice, water, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk until the sauce is the consistency of honey, adding more water or tahini if necessary
Pour the remaining teaspoon of oil into a small frying pan and place over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, until the nuts are golden brown. Transfer the nuts and oil to a small bowl to stop the cooking.
To serve, spread the vegetables out on a large serving platter and drizzle with tahini sauce. Sprinkle on the pine nuts, za’atar and parsley.