Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Inappropriately Good Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
It’s all wrong.
I shouldn’t be roasting a butternut squash in June. I shouldn’t even be buying butternut squash. It’s not seasonal. It’s not sustainable. It’s not local.
I am a terrible, terrible person.
But I love that nutty sweet squash. Even when it’s almost summer, even when it’s 80 degrees out, even when I nearly slice my finger off trying to peel and cut it, the sight of the orange flesh is enough to make my heart go all aflutter.
Especially when I am using it in a recipe like this one.
Once I stumbled upon it, there was no way I couldn’t make the Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad that both Smitten Kitchen and Orangette have featured on their blogs. I couldn’t possibly wait for fall to follow in their kitchen footsteps. It would haunt me. Taunt me. Jab me in the brain until I finally relented and brought home the two and half pound squash from Mexico.
So here I am. Roasting a butternut squash in June. Mixing it with chickpeas, arugula, shallots, cilantro, pinenuts, and a tahini dressing that I want to lick off my appendages in a completely inappropriate fashion.
It’s all wrong.
But it tastes so right.
Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Orangette, who adapted it from Casa Moro
Yield: 4 servings
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 ½ pounds), peeled, seed, and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
One 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 ½ cups)
3 shallots, sliced into thing rings
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Few handfuls of arugula
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 medium garlic clove, roasted
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini or tahini butter
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and prepared according to package instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread butternut squash and thinly sliced shallots out onto baking sheet. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini and lemon juice. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and then mash in the garlic. Taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.
When butternut squash, shallots and tahini dressing are ready, heat large frying pan to medium-high heat and swirl a swig of olive oil into the pan. Add the garlic, reduce the heat and then sauté for 1 minute before adding the chickpeas. Cook together another couple minutes, add the arugula to the pan and continue sautéing until arugula has wilted. Toss in the butternut squash, shallots and then once combined, reduce the heat to low and add the cilantro and tahini dressing. Serve immediately with quinoa on the side. Top with toasted pine nuts.