Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Roasted butternut & purple onions with tahini sauce & toasted pine nuts

Welcome to 2015 from Southern Spoon. In the spirit of positive and healthy starts, this year begins with a delicious dish that showcases roasted winter vegetables, dressed simply with fresh herbs, toasted nuts, and tahini sauce. This colorful platter of veggies will entice even the most stalwart of your hard to please low-vegetable eaters. One of my goals is to incorporate even more, and more variety, of vegetables into every meal.

This recipe is one of many that I prepared with my mom and sister from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's incredible cookbook Jerusalem, which I gifted to my sister for Christmas. We loved reading through Ottolenghi's portrayals of this ancient city's cuisine, which is deeply wrapped up in its culture-- a culture that is unfortunately so often the target of persecution, as we saw in Paris last week.
roasted butternut, purple onions and dressed with a creamy tahini garlic sauce
and sprinkled with parsley and toasted pine nuts for an easy, attractive, delicious side dish
The next couple of posts will celebrate the multicultural influences that make some of my favorite dishes absolutely delicious. How sad, and how dull, would it be for us all to live in a monocultural world? May our actions this year provide a little more understanding and tolerance and many special moments shared over food and drink with friends and family, who are each beautifully different than we are. Cheers from Texas.

Roasted butternut & purple onions with tahini sauce and toasted pine nuts
Serves 8
Adapted from Jerusalem

1 butternut squash, sliced into 4x1 inch wedges (skins can be removed or left on)
2 purple onions, sliced into 1/2-inch wide wedges
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4cup pine nuts
pinch each of freshly ground salt and pepper

Tahini sauce:
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 475F / 240C. While the oven is preheating, make the tahini sauce. Whisk together sauce ingredients, adding enough water until the mixture is the consistency of runny honey. Set aside.

In a large bowl, carefully toss the squash and onions with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange squash and onion evenly on the greased baking tray in a single layer. Roast at 475F / 240C for 30-40 minutes, until onions are beginning to brown around the outer edges and squash is cooked through. In the last 3-5 minutes of roasting, place the pine nuts in a separate baking tray and place them in the oven with the vegetables to toast, watching closely to ensure they don't burn.

Arrange the squash and onion onto a serving platter, sprinkle parsley and pine nuts over the top, and drizzle the tahini sauce over the vegetables. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Storage tip: these roasted vegetables and sauce will keep, covered in the fridge, for 3-4 days.

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