My oldest daughter (my zucchini bread baker) surprised me with Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi’s new cookbook, Jerusalem, for Hanukkah. I am very excited to have access to so many of their wonderful recipes. Today’s is a kind of cross between hummus and baba ghanoush – Butternut Squash and Tahini Spread.
Although I shop it here in its form for dipping, I have also used it in sandwiches with grated carrots and sliced cucumbers. That was really tasty and satisfying.
The recipe calls for peeling and cutting the butternut squash into chunks. I used to hate having to peel a butternut squash until I got a cross-wise, or Y, peeler. Having this simple tool has made the task quick and easy. I highly recommend getting one if you deal often with butternut squashes or eggplants.
The dish also called for date syrup, allowing for substitution with molasses or maple syrup. I could not find date syrup, but have pomegranate molasses in the cupboard, so I have substituted that in.
Butternut Squash & Tahini Spread
from Yotal Ottalenghi’s Jerusalem
1 butternut squash, about 2 1/2 lbs, peeled and cut into chunks (from the garden)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp tahini
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 small cloves garlic, crushed (I minced mine)
1 tsp mixed black and white sesame seeds (or just white if you do not have black)
1 1/2 tsp date syrup (I used pomegranate syrup)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional) – I do not use cilantro…ever
Preheat oven to 400F.
Spread the squash in a medium roasting pan. Pour the olive oil over and sprinkle on the cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt. mix together well. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, roast for 70 minutes, stirring once during the cooking. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Transfer the squash to a food processor, along with the tahini, yogurt, and garlic. This can also be done in a bowl with a potato masher or fork.
Roughly pulse, or mash, without the spread becoming smooth.
Spread in a wavy pattern over a flat plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds, drizzle over the syrup, and finish with the cilantro, if using. Eat with pita and enjoy!
Serves 6 – 8