No, we are not talking about covering my gray hairs. (Me? Have grays?? Naaah) We are talking about root vegetables.
This winter provided us with a gorgeous array of colorful and super flavorful roots -- Beets, turnips, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, kobacha squash..... I could go on like this for a while. Before the season ends, (And I hope the season ends tomorrow) I want to share one of my favorite ways to eat these vegetables - simply roasted with a drizzle of tahini. Are you shocked? Could you tell I'm in a real tahini moment? I like to add some herbs to the roasting process but let me emphasize - THIS IS NOT NECESSARY. A little oil and salt is all this needs to make these vegetables shine. Anything else is extra. You can also buy store made tahini if you are not in the mood to whip up your own. But be sure the tahini is thin enough to drizzle. You can always add fresh lemon juice or water to thin it out a drop.
Roasted Root Vegetables with Tahini
Ingredients: 4 large carrots (the longer ones that come in the bag - about 8 inches in length) 3 medium sized beets, washed and scrubbed well 1 small butternut squash 1 medium turnip 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped 3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoons black pepper (fresh ground if possible)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 degrees convection).
Peel the carrots, beets, butternut squash and turnip. Cut up in ½ inch to 1 inch size cubes. Be sure to remove the seeds from the butternut squash. (You can wash them, dry them, sprinkle with oil and salt, and toast if you are feeling ambitious.) Place all the vegetables on a cookie sheet. Add the seasoning and oil and toss really well. Bake uncovered for 45 min - 1 hour. You want the edges of the vegetables to begin to brown.
This dish is really nice at room temperature. You can serve slightly warm, but I do not like it hot if you are serving it with the tahini. When you are ready to serve, plate the vegetables on a platter and drizzle the tahini.
3 tablespoons sesame paste (I prefer the ones in the plastic containers. The ones in the jars are too hard and oily)
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove smashed garlic, or finely chopped
Mix the sesame paste with the lemon juice in a small bowl. With a small whisk or fork, mix well until the paste thickens a lot. Then add the water, salt and garlic. Continue to mix till it is a smooth sauce that will coat the back of the spoon. If the tahini is still too thick, slowly add more water onr Tablespoon at a time until till you reach the desired consistency. Keep refrigerated for up to one week.