Roasted Butternut Squash with Orange Tahini, Walnuts, and Za’atar

Reprinted with permission from The Tahini Table by Amy Zitelman, Agate Publishing, November 2020.


Serves 6


Wildly pretty and so easy, these vegetables can be roasted ahead. Simply refresh them in the microwave or a warm oven and finish with the sauce, freshly toasted nuts, freshly chopped herbs, and toast made from a crusty artisanal bread.


1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into wedges

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 large leeks, cut into 1-inch pieces (white and pale green parts)

¼ cup premium tahini paste

5 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1–2 tablespoons water

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper

⅓ cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon za’atar

Flake salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Turn the oven to 475°F.


Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on a large sheet pan. Roast until the squash starts to brown, about 15 minutes. Toss the leeks with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and add to the pan of squash. Roast until the squash is tender enough to pierce easily with a knife, about 15 minutes more.


While the vegetables roast, whisk the tahini and orange and lemon juices in a small bowl. Add enough water to make the mixture the thickness of cream sauce. Season with the garlic, fine sea salt, and crushed red pepper.