Roasted Vegetables with Tahini Dressing

This is such an easy side dish to make and not only is it healthy, but it is packed with flavor!  The vegetables would be fine on their own, but I think the dressing adds some extra pizzazz to the plating and taste.  I used chickpeas, asparagus, and squash, but you can substitute in your favorite vegetables.

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Roasted Vegetables with Tahini Dressing (serves 6-7 as a side)

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 bunch of asparagus, tough end parts removed

half a butternut squash, peeled and seeded, chopped into 1 in. cubes

olive oil

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup lemon juice

6 tablespoons of water

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spread the vegetables onto sheet trays.  Drizzle over olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Bake the asparagus and squash for around 1 hour.  The chickpeas take only 30 minutes.

Combine, the tahini, lemon juice, water, and garlic in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the vegetables are done, plate, and drizzle on dressing.

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Roasted Butternut Squash

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Do not hate me.  I know I have already bombarded you with copious amounts of Roasted Butternut Squash recipes.  One of my friends is going to start a revolt seeing as she does not particularly like the food.  HOWEVER, I realized nowhere do I give a formal layout on how to make it.  It is more scattered amidst a risotto or salad, etc.  So here is the recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash, which is my favorite side dish, and hopefully I will move on to other vegetables to excite you.  But I am not making any promises…

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash

olive oil

salt and pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Peel the squash.  Cut it down the middle.  Scoop out the seeds/ inside stringy flesh.  Cube the squash.  I like really small pieces so it gets nice and crispy in the oven, but do whatever you prefer.  Place on a sheet tray.  Drizzle with some luscious olive oil.  Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 45 minutes in the oven or until the squash is crispy on the edges and chewy/ soft in the center.

Another Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad

If you haven’t picked up on Sarah’s and my infatuation with butternut squash, that would be quite a remarkable feat.  Unlike my father, I love the sweetness of a squash, slowly baked in the oven so it caramelizes, and topped with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I could literally eat bowls upon bowls.  This salad was a spur of the moment dish just using whatever I had in the cupboards/ fridge.  Feel free to curb the ingredients to fit to your own pantry.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad (serves one)

1 cup Roasted Butternut Squash (instructions here) cut into cubes before baking

2 cups spinach, coarsely chopped

1 oz feta cheese

5 kalamata olives, pitted

1/4 cup walnuts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Place the spinach in a bowl.  Top with squash, olives, walnuts, and crumbled cheese.  Drizzle olive oil and balsamic on top.  Mix until combined.

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion Spinach Salad

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This is a flavorful, original salad for a winter day. It’s great for a tasty side dish or even as a light meal. I adapted the recipe from Gourmantine and the recipe book “Jerusalem” by Ottolenghi.  The tahini and za’atar combine to form an exquisite dressing on top of the sweet squash and onions. The pine nuts add a bit of crunch that nicely contrasts the softness of the vegetables.

Ingredients

1 butternut squash

2 red onions

4 tbsp of olive oil

3 tbsp of tahini

2 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup of pine nuts

1 tsp of za’atar

several handfuls of spinach

1 tsp of salt

pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the red onions and the squash into thin wedges. Place them in a pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then cook them in the over for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pine nuts for the last 10 minutes.

For the dressing whisk together the tahini, the lemon juice, and the garlic clove (finely chopped).

When the vegetables are ready, spread the spinach leaves on individual plates. Divide the roasted vegetables onto the separate plates. Add the dressing and then sprinkle with the za’atar.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

This past fall and winter I have acquired an obsession with butternut squash.  Roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper I could literally eat a whole pan out of the oven.  This risotto is perfect during a cold day and I used a recipe from The Italian Dish.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto (serves 4)

1 small butternut squash

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 cup arborio rice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 cup white wine

6 cups chicken stock, warm on stove

1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Peel squash and cut in half vertically.  Cut off the ends.  Scoop out the insides.  Cut it into bite-size cubes and place on a sheet tray.  Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste.  Bake until caramelized.  It took me around an hour.

In a medium size pan, add olive oil and chopped onions.  Sauté until the onions are soft.  Add in the garlic and sauté for a minute.  Add rice and stir for around 2-3 minutes.  Add in the herbs.

Add the wine and let it simmer.  Start adding the warm stock by two ladles each interval.  Stir the risotto, and leave pan uncovered.  When the stock is almost completely evaporated add another two ladles until all the stock is added.  Be patient with this process because this is how the risotto becomes creamy!  When you have reached this texture turn off the heat.  Add in the cheese and squash and dig in!

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