Molly’s Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad With Tahini

Summary: This is absolutely wonderful and makes a generous side dish or even a lovely entree. You can't go wrong with Molly Wizenberg recipes!
This salad, lightly dressed, keeps beautifully in the fridge. (Hold a little of the tahini sauce on the side, for dressing at the table.) Before serving, warm slightly with quick jolt in the microwave.

Yield: serves 4


  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 ½ pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium garlic clove, pressed
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • one 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ of a medium red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
  • 3 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste


Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a good pinch or two of salt. Using a large spoon or your hands, toss until the squash pieces are evenly coated. Turn them out onto a baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. (I found that my tahini was a little bitter and that the lemon was a bit much, so I added additional olive oil to tame both.)

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add tahini sauce to taste, and toss carefully. (Alternatively, you can also serve the salad undressed, with the tahini sauce on the side. That way, each person can use as much or as little as they want, and the individual ingredients taste a little brighter, too.) Serve, with additional salt for sprinkling.

butternut and chickpea salad