Grain-based salads, caprese salads, and now, this butternut squash salad: the lack of greens tends to make them feel heartier, and the ingredients are given enough room to shine. Here, spiced butternut squash mixes beautifully with chickpeas, and the tahini-lemon dressing adds a wonderfully creamy element.
Although I'm sure you could eat this salad cold, I tend to prefer my butternut squash warm. If you're not planning on eating it all immediately, I would suggest refrigerating the salad and the dressing separately, then drizzling the dressing over the salad and re-heating in the microwave. I'll have the best lunch in the office!
P.S. With its fairly short ingredient list and stress-free preparation, I think this would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving table. Let us know if you try it!
Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- one 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 shallots (what I used) or 1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
For tahini dressing:
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp. well-stirred tahini
- 2 tbsp. water
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss until the squash is well coated, then spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from the oven and let cool.
While the squash is cooking, make the tahini dressing. Add the garlic and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the tahini until blended, then add the water and olive oil and whisk well. Add more water to thin it out, if necessary.
To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, shallots/onion, and parsley in a mixing bowl. You can mix in the tahini dressing directly, but I prefer to drizzle it over the top of each plate or dish. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from smitten kitchen.