Roasted butternut squash, cauliflower and red onions with tahini sauce, za’atar and pine nuts: otherwise known as my new favourite meal. And it’s vegan and gluten-free, and it’ll make you feel good on a rainy fall evening – at least it did for me! And I’m really looking forward to my leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I got the idea for the recipe from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe. I added the cauliflower because I think it is perfect with tahini sauce, and I changed the cooking method a bit, cooking the squash before cutting it, because it’s easier to cut when it’s soft. I also used my tahini recipe instead of his.
I served mine on quinoa to make it a filling meal, but it would be great on a bed of greens too. Feel free to leave out the za’atar and pine nuts if you want, and garnish with some fresh pomegranate or parsley.
What you need:
1 butternut squash
1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 red onions, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
For the tahini sauce:
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of hot sauce
1/4 cup of warm water, or as needed
For the za’atar: (there are so many ways to make this, so make it up as you go along)
1 tablespoon ground sumac
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground anise or fennel seeds
What you do:
1. Preheat the oven to 425F. To roast the veggies, first cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the two pieces face down on a baking sheet and roast for about half an hour or until you can pierce it easily with a knife.
2. Put the onions and cauliflower pieces on another baking sheet, and toss them with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Put them in the oven with the squash for about 25 minutes. About half way through the roasting, give them a stir. The cauliflower should be a little browned when it is done.
3. Combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce. Add the warm water gradually, adding enough until the sauce is a consistency you like. I like mine pretty liquidy, so I can drizzle it. You can also adjust the lemon and hot sauce to your liking. I usually add a little more lemon.
4. To make the za’atar just combine all the spices. If you have them whole and want to grind them, it’s going to be even tastier.
5. To serve, cut the squash into chunks and serve it on a bed of quinoa or greens, then top with some onion and cauliflower. Drizzle with the tahini, pretty liberally, then sprinkle on some pine nuts and za’atar.