I love fall vegetables. A lot.
So when I came across this recipe for a warm salad (warm!) with chickpeas, butternut squash, and tahini dressing, I was pretty much instantly sold. It’s lovely as soon as it’s done, and it’s still lovely zapped in the microwave for lunch a day or two later.
Warm chickpea and butternut squash salad
Adapted from Orangette
For the salad:
1 medium butternut squash (two or three pounds)
2 t. crushed garlic*
½ t. ground allspice
2 T. olive oil
2 cups of chickpeas (or one 15-oz can, drained and rinsed)
1/4 of a red onion
For tahini sauce:
1 t. crushed garlic
3 T. lemon juice
3 T. tahini (be sure to stir before measuring!)
2 T. water
4 T. good olive oil, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Peel the squash, then slice it in half and scoop out the seeds. Chop it into cubes that are about 3/4 of an inch across. It’s a good idea to keep the size as uniform as you can here — otherwise the little chunks dissolve into mush before the big ones are cooked through!
In a big bowl, combine the squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a good pinch or two of salt. Toss with a spoon or your hands until the squash pieces are evenly coated. Turn them out into a rimmed baking sheet or pan, spreading into a single layer. (Mine all fit in a 9×13 baking dish, but it’s fine to use two pans if needed.) Bake for 20ish minutes, stirring once halfway through, until it’s easy to get a toothpick all the way through the squash pieces.
Meanwhile, take the onion and cut it up into really, really tiny pieces, and make the tahini sauce. For the sauce, put the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and water in a bowl, and mix with a whisk or a fork. Then add 2-3 T of olive oil, and taste. If it tastes bitter — sometimes tahini does! — add a bit more oil and another pinch of salt. (This is also really good as a salad dressing, so don’t hesitate to make extra if you have more tahini around.)
To assemble the salad, mix the roasted squash with the chickpeas and onion in a big bowl, and add tahini sauce until it’s all coated lightly. (This won’t be all the sauce
*I use the stuff in a jar from Trader Joe’s all the time — not to be confused with the chopped garlic you can get at the grocery store, which is horrible! — but you can also put fresh garlic through a press.