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Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad

March 31, 2008

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad

Last week was by far the craziest, busiest week I’ve experienced in grad school. But though I couldn’t find time to share my culinary endeavors here, I was, in fact, endeavoring (er?). And one of those endeavors involved some roasted butternut squash. I saw a recipe for this butternut squash salad on Orangette months ago, and while she may not have been able to hold out for winter to make it, I somehow managed to hold out until winter was almost over (at least, I hope winter is almost over). And honestly, I think this salad is more springy than wintery anyway. Sure, there’s roasted squash in there, but the lemony tahini dressing and the cilantro give this hearty salad a bright, summery taste. Perfect for bridging these last few months of cold, grey Boston.

This recipe seems a little unusual at first glance, but it’s kind of like a very inventive potato salad. The only not so great thing is that I really overdid it with the raw red onions. I would either halve the amount added, or maybe saute them a little first to mellow them out. I brought the leftovers to work the next day and then was afraid to breathe for fear of frightening my co-workers with onion overdose. I was also worried that the tahini dressing would be too lemony–I tasted it before adding it to the salad and puckered up a little. But once it was combined with the squash and the chickpeas, it wasn’t too lemony it all. It was perfect, and it only got better overnight.

Butternut squash and chickpeas

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad

  • 1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces, OR, if you’re lazy like me, one package of pre-cut and -peeled butternut squash
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  •  2 T. olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, chopped (ahh, here was my problem: I apparently can’t read, and I added half a red onion. Don’t make my mistake! Stick with a quarter of that onion.)
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro

For the dressing:

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 3 T. tahini (I had to stir mine up vigorously because it had managed to separate and become a pain in the arse.)
  • 2 T. water
  • 2 T. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Mix the squash, salt, allspice, garlic, and olive oil together in a large bowl until the squash is well coated. Spread the pieces out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and stick them in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the squash is soft and cooked through.

While the squash is baking, make the dressing: Just mix everything together very well. I used my cool immersion blender’s whisk attachment, which took care of the stiff, sticky tahini in no time. Add more or less olive oil and salt to taste.

Once the squash is cooked, mix it together with the chickpeas, onions, cilantro, and the tahini dressing. Top it perhaps with a bit more cilantro, and you are good to go. Easy, fast, delicious, and hey–healthy or some stuff! I love it when that happens.

I made some other lovely things last week, including a tofu scramble (what’s up with me eating like a vegetarian suddenly? I blame Michael Pollan). I liked that tofu scramble A LOT, but didn’t take any pictures in my rush to get to class, so I’m actually going to make it again this week just so I can share it with all of you. And I almost never make anything more than once, so you know it’s gotta be good. I have other awesome dinner plans this week, too, so hopefully I will actually find the time to share them with all of you.  Grad school is really time consuming, man.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2008 10:44 am

    things i love: butternut squash, chickpeas, cilantro, tahini.

    this is a spectacular recipe.

  2. kim e. permalink
    March 31, 2008 12:15 pm

    being a little selfish but i love the veggie posts because i get to experiment with these dishes! this one looks super yummy so i will try it and you have to post the tofu scramble one too! btw, my sister created a wonderful black bean/mango enchilada dish that is spectacular…want the recipe to try? hugs!!!

  3. crystalbrooke permalink
    March 31, 2008 5:39 pm

    Oooh, everything about this looks awesome. Except that cilantro part, obviously. You do realize that you are SO cooking me dinner one night in June, yes? (Never fear, we’ll go to your own personal paradise, the Boqueria, for a LOT of fresh ingredients, and ’twill be heavenly…)

  4. April 2, 2008 5:39 pm

    Oooh, I am dreaming of the Boqueria. Why doesn’t Boston have a Boqueria? Oh wait, I think they call that Haymarket and it smells of fish and raw meat.

  5. April 10, 2008 9:15 am

    You are a braver soul than I. I adore squash, but it takes so much effort to cut open, peel, and chop that I usually cook it a couple times in October and then run out of steam. (Besides, Do bitches having to resharpen his knives for hours after the squash massacres). Maybe I’ll tag this dish for next October ;)

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