The warm flavors of butternut squash and techina complement each other beautifully. The za’atar and pine nuts add fabulous flavor. Something definitely worth trying. Let me know what you think! The first time I tested this, my friend and I ate the whole thing ourselves! Thanks, Rikki M.
- butternut squash - 1 large, cut into 3/4 x 2 1/2-inch wedges
- red onions - 2, cut into 1 1/4 inch wedges
- olive oil - 3 1/2 tbsp
- techina paste - 3 1/2 tbsp (*see note)
- lemon juice - 1 1/2 tbsp
- water - 2 tbsp
- garlic - 1 small clove, crushed
- pine nuts - 3 1/2 tbsp
- za'atar - 1 tbsp
- parsley - 1 tbsp coarsely chopped
- pepper - to taste
- sea salt - to taste
Preheat oven to 475°F (245°C). Scrub the squash and wash well. Don’t peel. Place squash and onion wedges in a large bowl. Add 3 Tbsp of olive, salt, and pepper to taste, and toss well. Spread on a baking sheet with the skin facing down and roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until veggies have taken on some color and are cooked through. Keep an eye on the onions, as they might cook faster than the squash and need to be removed earlier. Remove from oven and let cool.
To make the sauce: Place the techina paste in a small bowl along with the lemon juice, water, garlic, and ¼ tsp salt. Whisk until the sauce is the consistency of honey, adding more water or techina if necessary. Pour the remaining 1½ tsp of oil into a small frying pan and place over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts along with a sprinkle of salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, until the nuts are golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer nuts and oil to a small bowl to stop the cooking.
To serve, spread the veggies out on a large serving platter and drizzle the techina on top. Sprinkle the pine nuts and their oil on top, followed by za’atar and parsley. The look here is rustic — it doesn’t have to be placed perfectly on the platter.
Note: If using ready-made techina, omit the lemon juice, water, garlic and salt, and use as is.
Tip: Za’atar is an incredibly versatile Middle Eastern spice blend. It’s great in hearty soups, eggs of all kinds, mashed avocado, and many other dishes.