Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Butternut Squash and Tahini Spread

Dear Jess,

This is a new staple recipe for future potlucks, baby showers, bridal showers, tea times... any time...

While at Mary Austin's house, visiting before her Pampered Chef party, she showed me a cookbook she signed out from the library. Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I am seriously considering buying this beautiful book. It is so well laid out, and the photos are gorgeous. It makes you want to eat every single dish in you see in this book.

Since I offered to bring a dip with veggies and/or crackers for a baby shower that was coming up, I decided to copy this recipe from the book. I don't have the page number with me, but if you buy the book, it will be in there... I promise!

I don't think I was expecting this to be anything special. I thought it would be yummy, but a 'whatever-I'll-make-it-this-one-time' recipe. This is one situation where I am always glad to be entirely wrong! This spread is sweet, with a thick texture. It was delicious on sesame rice crackers, but would also be amazing as a spread on a sandwich or wrap!

Also, this makes a LOT of spread. The picture shows about a third of the amount, and I put it on my large dinner plate! But not to worry! It keeps well in the fridge!

Butternut Squash and Tahini Spread
from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

1 very large butternut squash (about 2 1/2lb), peeled and cut into chunks (about 7 cups in total)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 Tbsp light Tahiti paste
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 small cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp mixed black and white sesame seeds (or just white, if you don't have black)
1 1/2 tsp date syrup (or maple syrup or molasses)

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C

Spread the squash out in a medium roasting pan. Pour over the olive oil and sprinkle on the cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix together well, cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, and roast in the oven for 70 minutes, stirring once during the cooking. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Transfer the squash to a food processor, along with the Tahiti, yogurt, and garlic. Roughly pulse so that everything is combined into a coarse paste, without the spread becoming smooth; you can also do this by hand using a fork or potato masher.

Spread the butternut in a wavy pattern over a flat plate and sprinkle with the sesame seeds, drizzle over the syrup, and finish with the cilantro, if using.

I really do hope you get a chance to make this! The flavours and textures all have a party in your mouth with every bite! Mmmmmmmm... I need to make this again... and soon!


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