It’s been awhile. Quite awhile. I have a long list of recipes on post-its around the house but this one tops the list and is timely for this winter season. The proportion of vegetables can be varied according to your taste. Make extra Tahina sauce and store in a jar for the next time (or to eat with a spoon).
My parents brought me a bottle of tahina from Israel and it’s sort of unfair how delicious it is. Go with your favorite brand and adjust the amount of liquid according to its thickness. My favorite available at most grocery stores here in the US is Al Wadi. Speaking of my parents, here’s a handy way to get pomegranate seeds easily and stain free (thanks mom).
Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower with Walnuts and Lemony Tahina
1 butternut squash (about 1.5 pounds), cut into 1-inch slices
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Tahina
1.5 Tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 Tablespoons water
1 small clove garlic, crushed
3-5 Tablespoons walnuts, toasted and chopped
3 Tablespoons pomegranate seeds
2-3 teaspoons Za’atar*, optional
Preheat the oven to 425. Layer a large baking sheet with tin foil. Toss the vegetables with 2-3 Tablespoons of the olive oil and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread on the baking sheet- vegetables should not be overlapping, but touching is okay. Use two sheet pans if you need. Roast for 30 minutes, toss and roast for another 10-20 minutes. The vegetables are done when a fork easily pierces the skin and some pieces are browned.
While the vegetables are roasting, make the sauce. Combine the tahina, lemon juice, garlic, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the water. Whisk until it resembles a creamy peanut butter. Add more water as necessary. Taste for lemon and salt. Set aside.
When the vegetables are done, place them on your serving dish, top with the walnuts, pomegranates, and the tahina. If you decide to use za’atar- try toasting it in 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the walnuts. Top with a good sprinkle of flake salt.
*Za’atar is a delicious Middle Eastern spice available at most spice shops and ethnic markets. You can also make it at home from oregano, sumac, cumin, sesame seeds and black pepper.