Sunday, April 8, 2012's vegetarian

My friend Jane and I often share recipes and often pick the same recipes out of the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle. So even though she doesn't eat red meat and hates pork (I can't imagine!) we are mostly on the same page food wise. She bought me a couple of pages she had copied from Oprah's magazine with several yummy sounding recipes. One of the first I tried is a butternut and chickpea salad with tahnin dressing. It was a no-brainer. Butternut squash is my favorite of all squashes and I love tahini! Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are also a hit around here. Here's a link to Deb Perelman's blog where the recipe is from

Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing my way

~1 1/2 cups dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (I've found a melon baller gets the seeds out most efficiently.)
1 garlic clove, peeled, cored and pressed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
~1/2 small red onion, chopped
chopped parsley or cilantro as garnish

1 garlic clove, peeled, cored and pressed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini, room temperature if kept refrigerated
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place beans in large enough pot to cover with water, add some salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 45-60 minutes until beans are soft but not mushy. Drain and place in large serving bowl.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for ~20 minutes, or until just soft. Cool slightly and add to garbanzo beans in bowl.

While the squash is cooking, make the tahini dressing. In a 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and add salt to taste. Add more lemon juice or water to blend if necessary. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Add onion to bowl and mix gently. Drizzle with tahini dressing and toss gently. Sprinkle chopped herbs on top of salad. Serve warm or room temperature.

I was going to serve this with some chicken or turkey sausage but since we had a late lunch I wanted something lighter. Mike usually wants meat at dinner and doesn't always like beans but he loved this and said how much he loved garbanzos! Maybe I can sneak in vegetarian meals more often. This is definitely something Abigail would enjoy and I hope to make it for her when she's home in May. I think would be good the next day after flavors really melded too but I would warm it slightly or let it come to home temp before serving rather than serving it cold. Enjoy!

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