As much as I look forward to spring, I start missing my beloved cranberries, parsnips, celeriac and, maybe most of all, pumpkin already now. Before it gets too late and it’s out of season, I really want to share this tasty and comforting salad with you. It doesn’t take long to prepare, it’s easy to combine with other dishes, but also makes for a great lunch on its own as it’s rather filling. You will find that the tahini-lemon dressing fits with a LOT of things (we actually started pouring it over most of what we eat in this house, for example over these roasted vegetables). So I often double the quantities and keep the rest of the dressing in the fridge. When spring finally comes, I guess you could substitute the pumpkin with roasted carrots. The recipe is originally by Casa Moro by Sam and Sam Clark (Edbury Press, 2005), but I found it in the Genius Recipes section of Food52.
Note: Make sure you soak the onion in water (or substitute with a shallot or some spring onion) as it is quite prominent otherwise. Also be careful not to drown the salad in the tahini dressing as I did when taking the pictures for this post. You might have some left over dressing – just use it for another salad.
1kg pumpkin or other winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2,5cm cubes
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
400g canned or home-cooked chickpeas, drained (I prefer a bigger ones over the small ones)
½ small red onion, finely chopped (soaked in cold water for at least 20 minutes to soften the bite and take out the sharpness)
4 tablespoons roughly chopped, fresh coriander leaves
For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt
3 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini paste
2 tablespoons water, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Heat the oven to 220° Celsius (200° fan).
Mix the squash with the garlic, allspice, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place on a tray and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the squash is soft and starting to brown. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
While the squash is roasting, make the tahini dressing. Mix the crushed garlic with lemon juice and add the tahini. Now thin with the water and olive oil and add some salt and pepper. The nutty tahini and acidic lemon should be in balance.
Place the squash, chickpeas, red onion and coriander in a big bowl. Pour the tahini sauce and some extra oil and mix carefully. Season with salt and pepper.