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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini

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While I used to primarily receive clothes and shoes for Christmas and birthday gifts, people have now started buying gifts that appeal to the "foodie" in me. Don't get me wrong, I'll never turn down new clothing or shoes, but I get just as excited about gifts that can be used in my kitchen. This Christmas I received a number of exciting food and kitchen related gifts. Among them was a jar of tahini from my in-laws. I've actually never used tahini in my cooking before. I always shied away from picking up some of the somewhat pricey sesame seed paste, though I was often tempted to just splurge and buy a jar. Needless to say, I was very excited to find this under the Christmas tree!

This salad was my first use of the tahini and I can't wait to incorporate it into more meals. When I first licked a bit of tahini off my finger, I wasn't crazy about the flavor. I actually uttered an audible "yuck". However, when mixed in with the other dressing ingredients, it took on a much more pleasant flavor that nicely coated the chickpeas and squash. We ate this over mixed greens, but it can also just be eaten plain.  This was a quick, healthy lunch to help get us on track after all of our gluttonous holiday eating!

One Year Ago: Orange French Toast with Challah

Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini
as seen on Veggies by Season

-3 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2" pieces
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-pinch ground nutmeg
-1 (15oz.) can chickpeas, drained
-1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
-1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
-juice from 1 lemon
-2 tbsp tahini
-1 tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil or spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss garlic, squash, and onions with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and nutmeg. Lay out on 2 baking sheets.
2. Bake for 20 minutes.
3. Whisk together lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix dressing with chickpeas and cilantro. Fold in slightly cooled squash, garlic, and onions. Serve plain or atop mixed greens.