Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Butternut Squash Salad

This is another photo from my "oh crap we forgot to take a picture before dinner" series. I just love posting slightly appetizing pictures of leftovers on plastic plates in my office.

Anyhoo ... this is a really great salad. I am not a huge butternut squash fan, and when I do eat it I prefer a savory preparation (no maple syrup or brown sugar for me). This salad is one I read about on Orangette. She lifted it from the Casa Moro Cookbook (which I haven't read yet, but will be soon).

This doesn't really need a recipe, but I'll post it below anyway. The tahini/lemon combo is great on the squash. If you are a cilantro-hater (you know who you are) try parsley, mint and/or fennel fronds instead.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks (your call on what "bite size" means, just make sure the pieces are about the same size)
  • 1 finely minced clove of garlic
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red or sweet onion (or scallions)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (or one of the alternate herb options above)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (stir it well before measuring)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon's worth of juice)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
Toss the squash with the garlic, a drizzle of olive oil (just so it's shiny, not drenched) and salt to taste. Roast in a 425 oven on a baking sheet until tender and gently browned.

While the squash is roasting, toss the chickpeas, onion and cilantro together in a bowl.

Make the dressing: whisk or shake together (in a jar) the tahini, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil and water. Taste for salt and pepper.

When the squash is done, throw it into the bowl with the chickpeas. Toss with the dressing (you may not need all of it) and serve.

This makes super leftovers, but definitely follow Molly's (and my) advice, and heat the leftovers up to just warm before eating. Toss with a little more dressing.


watson said...

I raced out to try it but this did not work so well for me. For one thing, I didn't let the squash cubes cook enough, so that part's totally my fault, but I don't know, the dressing also didn't send me. It seemed so ideal! HOwever, I am not daunted; I'm going to try the leek and radicchio pasta next.

Sunday Cook said...

Thanks for trying out the recipe.

Regarding the dressing, there are two things which may have impacted your state of non-sendedness (bearing in mind that I didn't find my version of this dressing that amazing - it was just a nice base note for the sqaush):

1 - your tahini may have been stale or off in some way
2 - you might want more acid in the dressing (extra lemon can work wonders)

I also think that I will add some toasted sesame oil to the dressing next time - to add to the sesame flavor.

Another approach I will probably try: adding crumbled blue or goat cheese, chives instead of cilantro and use a sherry vinaigrette instead of the tahini one.

Have a great Thanksgiving and good luck with the pasta.

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