Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roasted Broccoli with Tahini Sauce over Curried Squash

Somewhere amidst traveling, working full time, running, yoga and happy hour, I’ve lost the desire to stand in the kitchen for hours to impress…myself. I used to concoct these complicated displays with a bagillion ingredients, always making homemade seitan or soysage, whipping up my own Worcestershire sauce, etc. Has reality finally sunk in? Do I really have no time or energy to cook? No, it’s not quite that extreme. But I am understanding better and better the people who tell me they just don’t have the time or the know-how to do what I do.

Well neither do I right now. Ok, ok, I have the know-how. But that’s why I write this little ditty. For you. To impart how easy it is to truly concoct something incredible with just a few things on hand in about a half hour that will appeal to any veg hater out there. This is a beautifully simple dish.  If you look at the 3 components separately, nothing requires more than 5 ingredients.  Do the math people! Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Numbers on Netflix. But seriously, you absolutely have time for this.

This recipe is based on one I found on Vegetarian Times. I adjusted the Tahini Sauce to my taste and deviated quite a bit from the bulgur nonsense. I like my version, and so did my token omnivore, which (as you know) is always the final test to determine the final fate of my crazy kitchen madness. “Mmmmmm”s all around. If you need a little protein boost, this would go great with falafel or just some mashed chickpeas mixed right into that squash. Ok it’s go time - start preheating that oven (toaster oven will do for those of you who live in stupidly extreme climates like me).

Roasted Broccoli with Tahini Sauce over Curried Squash
Makes: 2-4 servings
Cook time: 30 minutes


For the Broccoli
1 broccoli crown/stalk, cut into small flowerets (about 3 cups)
1/2 - 1 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Squash
1 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 T. veggie broth
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 T. dried currants
Salt to taste

For the Tahini Sauce
1 T. tahini
1 T. lemon juice (about 1 whole small lemon)
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 T. veggie broth


Preheat oven to 450F.

In a medium bowl, drizzle broccoli with olive oil and coat generously with salt and pepper. Spread evenly over a foil lined pan and roast until browned and crispy around edges, about 25 minutes. Remove and set aside.

While the broccoli is cooking, place the squash flesh side down in a microwave safe dish about 2-3 inches in depth. Fill dish up to 1 inch with water and cover. Microwave on high for 7-10 minutes or until completely tender. Remove from pan and set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop/scrape flesh from the peel into a mixing bowl. Add broth and mash the sqaush with curry powder and garam masala. Fold in currants and set aside (cover to keep warm).

Finally prepare the sauce, combin tahini and lemon juice into a small bowl. Whisk vigorously until tahini separates and then smooths out to a creamy texture (stick with me here, the tahini will "fall apart" in the lemon juice all oil-on-water like but after about a minute or so, it will start to thicken and will become very creamy). Add garlic and broth to sauce. Season with salt to taste.

To assmeble: pile up a huge mound of squash on a plate. Top with broccoli and drizze with sauce. Delish!

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