Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Roasted Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce

I love roasted veggies of all types and colors: carrots, kale, broccoli, cauliflower. Give me a farmers' market bag full of veggies, and there's a 100% chance they'll end up in a 450 degree oven sprinkled with salt and pepper until charred crispy at the edges, bitterness deliciously tamed by the heat. Those are pretty good odds. But squash was a different beast to me. I was confused by it. Did it taste like a pumpkin? Why were there so many varieties? How did one cut into the things? Would I need some sort of hacksaw? So many questions. And so, I warily avoided it for...basically my entire life. Until I was flipping through the recent issue of Bon Appetit one cold November morning and happened across this recipe for roasted squash with lemon tahini sauce that looked so mouthwateringly good in it's glamour shot that I had to just let my reservations loose and go for it. I've been working on cultivating fearlessness lately, anyway.

Well, I think we all know how this here story ends. It was really, really, really good, you guys. Like ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then for breakfast again the next day good. And like all other roasted veggies, it's easy to make, although my hunch on the cutting difficulty wasn't that far off center. It takes some muscle and a very sharp knife, but it's worth it. Give it a try! xo

Roasted Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce
From Bon Appetit, December 2012
1 small kabocha squash or large acorn squash (1 pound), scrubbed, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges, seeded
1 1-pound delicata squash, scrubbed, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges, seeded
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes

Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Place kabocha on a rimmed baking sheet and delicata on a second sheet. Divide 3 tablespoons oil and 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin between sheets. Season squash with salt and pepper; toss. Roast for 15 minutes.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon oil, and scallions in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat. Scatter scallion mixture over squash, dividing evenly between sheets, and continue to roast until squash is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes longer (time may vary depending on squash).

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, tahini, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer squash to a platter. Drizzle tahini sauce over and sprinkle with Aleppo pepper.

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