I love combining different elements from different regions into one dish. I suppose this is an amalgamation of moi. Born in New York, raised as a globe trotter, dotting all across Asia and Europe. How do I make sense of my whirlwind of a childhood?? By gravitating to dishes that are just that. Pulling ingredients and vegetables from polarized places in the world to create one cohesive dish. The acorn squash, which looks just like it’s namesake is indigenous to North America whereas tahini is Mediterranean. What you get is a symphony in it’s subtlety. Bursts of a creamy lemon sauce on browned edged squash, which caramelizes the flavor.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the squash which is so quintessentially Fall! Really any squash can be substituted for this dish and in fact, you can use a variety of squashes. I think the trick is peeling and cutting these tough skins. First, get a long serrated knife. Cut along the center on the squash. Remove all the seeds, in that way you can get your hand in there to cup it, while the other hands peels. Then you can chop to your preference.
Roasted Squash With Tahini
2 large acorn squash (2 pounds), scrubbed, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges, seeded
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Preheat to 425°. Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet. You might need two baking sheets. Divide 3 tablespoons oil and 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin between sheets. Season squash with salt and pepper; toss. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon oil, and scallions in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat. Scatter scallion mixture over squash, dividing evenly between sheets, and continue to roast until squash is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes longer (time may vary depending on squash).
- Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, tahini, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer squash to a platter. Drizzle tahini sauce over and sprinkle with red pepper.