Roasted Butternut & Red Onion with Zataar and Tahini Sauce

  • 1 large butternut (about 1 kg), peeled and sliced 1 cm thick, seeds discarded
  • 2 medium-size red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 45 ml (3 TBSP) extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 - 20 ml (3 - 4 tsp) za’atar spice (or a blend of oregano, thyme, cumin, coriander, sumac, sesame seeds and salt)
  • A bunch of wild rocket, rinsed
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) whole almonds, toasted and chopped (or 30 ml/2 TBSP roasted pine nuts)
  • A handful of fresh parsley or coriander leaves, roughly chopped

           Tahini Sauce 

  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) tahini (sesame paste)
  • 30 ml (2 TBSP) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220 °C.

2. Arrange the cut butternut and onions in a large roasting or baking tray, preferably in a single layer.

3. Drizzle with oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.

4. Roast until tender and starting to brown (about 25 minutes).

5. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with za’atar, and return to the oven for 5 – 7 minutes more, taking care not to burn the sesame seeds in the spice mix.

6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

7. For the sauce, place the tahini, lemon juice, water and garlic in a jar and season generously. Shake well until smooth and creamy.

8. To serve, arrange the rocket on a serving platter, then top with the roasted vegetables, nuts, parsley/coriander and a generous drizzle of tahini sauce. Enjoy at room temperature.

Excerpted from Cape Mediterranean by Ilse van der Merwe, published by Penguin Random House and available for R360 at leading bookstores.

Preparation Time:30min