Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion with Tahini Sauce

A little sweet and a little savory at the same time, butternut is easily my favorite winter squash. I love that it can prepared so simply and be so delicious on its own.

This recipe dresses the squash up a bit, and pairs it with a wonderful lemon-tahini sauce, toasted pine nuts, and caramelized red onions. The flavors in this dish compliment each of the others fantastically... not that you'd expect anything different from the incredible chefs behind Ottolenghi. (I've sung my praises of the London-based Ottolenghi in the past, here.) 

This squash is a great main dish for two, or a wonderful side dish for about four. Enjoy it for lunch, dinner, or in between. It is a simple one to prepare and I think you'll love it as much as I do!

Notes: If you don't have butternut squash around, sweet potatoes will substitute well. Also, za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that can be a little hard to come by, so if you can't find it I've included a substitute blend in the recipe below.

Adapted from Jerusalem by Yottam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi also seen here
Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion with Tahini Sauce

roasted squash & red onion
1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb.), cut into 3/4 x 2 1/2-inch wedges
2 medium red onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper

tahini sauce
3 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 small garlic clove, crushed

1/4 cup pine nuts
Sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon za'atar (To substitute: 1 teaspoon each of sumac & sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, marjoram, & oregano, and a pinch of salt. Whiz in a spice grinder for a few seconds.)
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
A few handfuls of arugula to serve over (optional)

roasted squash & red onion
Preheat oven to 475°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Put the squash in a medium bowl, add about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Toss well. Spread squash on one of the baking sheets.

In the now-empty bowl, toss the onion with a tablespoon of the oil, a generous pinch of salt, and a little black pepper. Spread the onions on the other baking sheet.

Place both baking sheets in the oven. Roast the onions for about 15-20 minutes, until they are tender and caramelized. Remove onion sheet from the oven and set aside. Allow the squash to continue roasting for an additional 10-15 minutes (for a total time of 25-35 minutes) until the
vegetables have taken on some color and are cooked through. Remove squash sheet from the oven, add the squash to the sheet with the onions, then set it all aside to cool.

tahini sauce
While the vegetables are roasting, place the tahini in a small bowl along with the lemon juice, water, garlic, and salt. Whisk until the sauce is the consistency of honey, adding more water or tahini if necessary. Set aside.

Toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium-low heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir often, until the nuts are golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer the nuts to a small bowl to stop cooking.

To serve, spread the vegetables out on a large serving platter over a bed of arugula (if using) and drizzle the tahini sauce over top. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top, followed by the za’atar (or substituted spice blend, if using) and parsley.

Yield: Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side

This post shared on The Nourishing Gourmet