I was almost worried I didn’t like tahini. I adore hummus, but usually make it without tahini. You might not believe it, but I try not to have too many wacky ingredients in my cupboard. I try (I swear!), but don’t succeed very well, hehe. I just bought nigella seeds, so shoot me. :P
So I bought tahini to make Smitten Kitchen’s highly praised Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing. Warm butternut squash and chickpeas, it sounds right up my alley! But I hated it. It was way too bitter. I couldn’t even finish it. It is the first SK recipe that has disappointed me. Oh, and Deb’s shakshuka was too spicy for me to enjoy. I have to tinker with that one, too.
But I persevered. Rivka’s recipe on Food52 for yam, zucchini and chickpea salad called out to me. It had less tahini, so I was hopeful I would enjoy the salad. I also pulled out some of my other kitchen tricks to kick this salad over the top. First, I roasted the yam until soft and sweet (leftover roasted sweet potatoes and yams from thanksgiving would work great here!). Roasted zucchini was also added, which added a nice lightness to the salad.The broiler added the extra caramelization needed to bring this to the next level.
Next, the simple dressing was a winner. A bit of lemon with a dash of tahini. Creamy, nutty, full-bodied flavour that worked so well with the yams, zucchini and chickpeas. A delicious, healthy, satisfying salad. Perfect.
It wasn’t until I had roasted sweet potatoes over Thanksgiving that I forgot how much I love roasted sweet potatoes and yam. I look forward to trying other recipes in the coming weeks. Here are a selection that have caught my eye:
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos in Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites
Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos at Allrecipes
Quinoa with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes from Mischief
Turkish Sweet Potato & Apricot Rolls from Eating Out Loud
Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Couscous Salad from Patty’s Food
Lentils with Roasted Sweet Potatoes from Avocado & Bravado
African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup from Food Blogga
Ottolenghi’s Chickpeas and Spinach with Honeyed Sweet Potato found at Alphabet Soup
This is my submission to Ricki and Kim’s vegan SOS challenge featuring sesame, to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Dil Se, and to Torview’s Food Palette Series featuring orange dishes.
Yam, Zucchini and Chickpea Salad
2 yams or sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
2 zucchinis, diced into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if using canned beans
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silicone.
2. Spread diced sweet potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Mix together to evenly coat and the spread on a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast 35-40 minutes, then add zucchini and roast an additional 10-15 minutes, until both vegetables are softened inside and caramelized in spots. If vegetables haven’t caramelized at that point, pop them under the broiler for 3 minutes, and they’ll brown plenty.
3. In a small frying pan over medium heat, whole garlic cloves and green onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil (just enough to moisten) for about 1 minute, until just fragrant. Add the chickpeas and fry for 6-8 minutes, until they are lightly browned and warmed through. Remove garlic cloves, chop finely, and reserve for dressing.
4. In a medium bowl, mix chickpeas with yams and zucchini. Mix to combine.
5. In a small bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and half of chopped garlic. Add water by the teaspoon until the dressing is smooth and runny. Taste, and add additional chopped garlic if necessary (I used both cloves). Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over vegetables, toss to coat, and serve warm or room temperature.