BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH TAHINI, POMEGRANATE AND MINT

TIME: 25 MINUTES

YIELD: 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

V • VEG

In this Middle Eastern–inspired dish, creamy tahini sauce, spiked with a little lemon and garlic, adds richness and pungency to sweet butternut squash. As for peeling the squash, you can use a knife, but I think a vegetable peeler is the fastest and easiest way to get the job done. Or leave the skin on; it’s completely edible and adds some texture to the mix. If you don’t have any pomegranate molasses, substitute balsamic vinegar.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium butternut squash (about 2½ pounds)

Kosher salt, as needed

¼ cup tahini

1 small garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced

1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

Pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar, for serving

Pomegranate seeds, for serving (optional)

Torn fresh mint leaves (or basil), for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel the butternut squash if you like; then halve it lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Cut each piece in half lengthwise, so you end up with 4 long quarters.
  2. Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot and insert the steamer rack. Add the squash quarters, alternating the direction so that they fit snugly into the basket. Sprinkle with salt to taste; then cover and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Then drizzle in enough ice water to make the sauce creamy (a couple of tablespoons or so).
  4. Release the pressure manually. Use tongs or oven mitts to remove the steamer basket. Allow the squash to cool slightly in the steamer basket; then transfer it to a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. To serve, drizzle the tahini sauce and pomegranate molasses over the squash, and top with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.
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