Sunday, 30 December 2012

Butternut Squash Tahini Spread

Are you ringing in the New Year with a bang?  I never would have predicted that becoming a parent would have any impact on end of year celebrations. Kids love any reason to celebrate.  With hats, horns and worldwide attention, what kid wouldn't want to be part of that.  Our kids are no exception and New Years Eve is one of their favourite nights of the year.  When they were younger we would celebrate well before the actual stroke of midnight, but as long as it included a countdown and kisses, they were happy.

Prior to children I always felt New Years eve was overrated.  So much pressure to have an amazing night and truly, few opportunities to do so.  The kids have lowered my expectations of what a good time truly is and their enthusiasm is contagious.  We'll be celebrating at a friend's house to usher in 2013 and I plan to bring this dip.  Packed full of nutrition via the butternut squash and tahini it tastes more decadent than nourishing.  Tasty on top of crackers or crostini, it also works well as a vegetable dip.  Sweeter than your average dip, it goes well along side hummus, olives or other savoury fare.  It can be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge until the party starts.

Butternut Squash Tahini Spread

adapted from Jersusalem
2 Medjool dates
boiling water
5 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp white wine vinegar
5 Tbsp tahini paste
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 garlic clove
1 tsp sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400degrees.
In a small bowl, cover dates with boiling water and set aside.
Toss squash with olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne and salt in large roasting pan.  Cover and roast until squash is tender, about 45min.  Remove from oven and cool.
Drain water from softened dates.  In a food processor combine squash, dates, vinegar, tahini, yogurt and garlic.  Season with salt and pulse again to a thick paste. 
Transfer to serving bowl or plate and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

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