Sunday, April 28, 2013

Butternut Squash and Tahini Spread

(about 6 servings)

Recently I received "Jerusalem" by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi as a birthday present. I was thrilled because this is a book I was planning on getting after thoroughly enjoying Ottolenghi's, "Plenty". Unlike Plenty, Jerusalem is not strictly vegetarian. It explores (the London based) Ottolenghi's and Tamimi's vibrant cultures and cuisines of their home city. This delightful cookbook contains wonderful recipes, interesting anecdotes and beautiful photographs of both food and one of the most intriguing cities on this earth.

There are quite a few recipes I have bookmarked to try. I decided to start with this butternut squash and tahini spread. It reminds me a bit of a recipe in one of Paula Wolfert's cookbooks, but I think she uses summer squash and adds cumin and lemon juice to her version.

I've made a few minor changes (I'm not a big fan of raw garlic [two cloves seemed a lot] and I didn't have date syrup), however you can find the original recipe reprinted at, The Guardian.

This spread is amazing, and for me a welcome change from baba ghanoush which I make frequently.

adapted from Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, ©2012
1  large butternut squash, about 2 lbs
4 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp tahini paste
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp water, if the molasses are super thick
1 tsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Wash the squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and then cut each half in half again, lengthwise.

Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the skin side down.

Place one garlic clove onto each of the four pieces, then drizzle the olive oil evenly over the squash. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the squash followed by the salt.

Bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until the squash is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Remove the roasted garlic cloves and place those into the bowl of a food processor. Scrape the squash flesh out of the skins and add that to the food processor as well.

Add the tahini and yogurt. Cover and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. (I was tempted to add a pinch of cayenne at this point, but I stopped myself; perhaps next time.)

Spread the squash mixture over a plate. Drizzle the molasses (thinned with water if it's too thick) over the spread. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chopped coriander.

Serve with cut up vegetables, crackers or pita bread.


Meagan said...

AHH! This looks so amazing. I've been wanting these books for almost a year. Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

I love this book too - simply wonderful! this spread looks wonderful - fantastic flavors!
Mary x

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