I used to dislike butternut squash. Well actually I just never really gave it a chance. I lumped it into the same group as sweet potatoes and pumpkin — a strange breed of vegetables that instead of being neutral in flavor were actually overly sweet. But I’ve come around a lot – no I still don’t eat sweet potatoes, but I’ve grown to love butternut squash and tolerate pumpkin – these are big steps for me. I actually found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen over a year ago - cataloging it away with all the other recipes that I (realistically) never intended to make. Now that I’m all for butternut squash though I knew I was finally ready to embrace the flavors of this dish. And embrace them I did. Such a simple meal – yet the complexity of textures, tastes and flavors is impressive. Tahini and lemon juice were made for each other. When olive oil and garlic join those two, the real party starts. The dressing becomes citrusy, yet creamy and smooth with a nutty taste all at once. The slightly caramelized squash perfectly soaks up the sauce while the chickpeas and red onions provide a contrast in consistency with basil offering just the right hint of freshness.
This recipe is definitely a keeper and my only regret is that I waited so long to make it.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
Recipe Adapted From Smitten Kitchen
Start to Finish: 35 minutes
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (into 1/2-1 inch pieces)
2 tablespoons olive oil,
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 cup basil, slivered
for the dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl combine squash, olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Spread out over baking sheet in single layer. Bake 25 minutes.
2. To prepare dressing combine garlic and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add tahini and whisk to combine. Add water and olive oil, whisk until smooth (add more water if dressing too thick).
3. To assemble the salad in a large bowl toss the roasted butternut squash cubes with the chickpeas, red onion and basil. Drizzle with dressing when ready to serve.
*Salad can be stored in the fridge overnight but leave dressing on the side until ready to eat.