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Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini and Za'atar from 'Jerusalem'

[Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin]

Butternut squash is a staple in my kitchen during fall and winter, but I never stray far from simple roasted cubes or a creamy pureed soup. But after preparing the Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini and Za'atar in Jerusalem: A Cookbook, I am a total devotee of pairing winter squash with sesame.

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi have you roast the squash and onion in generous chunks in a super hot oven and then let them cool to room temperature. For serving, the vegetables are drizzled with a rich tahini-lemon-garlic sauce the texture of good honey, sprinkled generously with za'atar, and garnished with toasted pine nuts.

Why I picked this recipe: Butternut squash are everywhere these days, and this recipe offered up a nice change from my usual olive oil-brown sugar combo.

What worked: The flavors here are incredible--the earthy tahini is a perfect match to the sweet squash and onion, while the za'atar adds a pop of sharp, herby pungency and the pine nuts offer richness and a bit of textural contrast.

What didn't: Be sure to drizzle the sauce on top of the vegetable instead of mixing it in. My leftovers turned murky and a bit chalky once the sauce had soaked into the vegetables.

Suggested tweaks: You could treat just about any root vegetable or tuber like this. Next time, I'm definitely making this with a blend of winter squash.

Reprinted with permission from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, copyright 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

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