Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini

I’m not a big fan of roasted squash on its own. I find it quite mushy and unappealing, but when I saw this recipe, where it’s mashed and enhanced with tahini, one of my favourite flavours I just had to give it a try out. I’m very pleased I did – what a transformation! The natural sweetness of the squash is enhanced with the use of tahini and yoghurt and with an extra hit of tart pomegranate molasses elevates a straightforward vegetable into something very special indeed. It looks great and tastes even better.

1kg sized butternut squash
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons light olive oil
5 cloves garlic (skin on)
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon (juice of)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 190ºC

Cut the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds and pulp from the centre and discard. Chop into large chunks then remove the skin. Arrange on a large baking tray with the garlic cloves. Drizzle over the light olive oil and then scatter over the cumin, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat all the squash. Bake in the oven for 70-80 minutes until soft, turning once or twice during that time.

Remove from the oven, then using a fork, mash roughly. Squeeze the garlic from the skins and mash those too. Add to a large bowl then stir in the yoghurt, tahini, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

Serve warm or at room temperature, scatter over the sesame, nigella and pumpkin seeds and then drizzle over the pomegranate molasses. Serve as a side dish to meat or fish, or alongside bread to use as a spread/dip.

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