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Once in a while a cookbook comes along that’s so stunning I just have to sit down and fan myself.

Readers, may I present The Tahini Table: Go Beyond Hummus with 100 Recipes for Every Meal by Amy Zitelman. Amy is the founder of Soom Foods, a premium tahini company, and we met virtually through our mutual publisher, Agate Publishing / Surrey Books.

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from the publisher and two jars of tahini from Amy to try making some of the recipes.

Every page of this book is just as gorgeous as this one. I chose this recipe for my show The Blue and Yellow Kitchen for a couple of reasons. I wanted to honor the subtitle and choose something that wasn’t hummus. It’s the holiday season, and I thought this would be a fabulous upgrade for a butternut squash dish, which is why I’m publishing it early enough for y’all to shop for ingredients. It’s easy and hits those unique Middle-Eastern flavors that the book celebrates.

Check out Amy’s episode on Facebook Watch or IGTV on Wednesday, November 25. And buy her book here!

Reprinted with permission from The Tahini Table by Amy Zitelman, Agate Publishing, November 2020. Photo credit: Jillian Guyette.

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

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.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 pounds butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into wedges
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin) divided
  • 2 leeks cut into 1-inch pieces (white and pale green parts)
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 5 tablespoons orange juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh) freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoons water (filtered or spring) up to 2 tablespoons
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt fine, omit for low-sodium diets
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup walnuts chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley (fresh) chopped
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar seasoning blend


  • 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.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and stir until they darken slightly and smell toasty. Scrape into a bowl, cool for a bit, and toss with the parsley and za’atar.
  • When the vegetables are done, transfer them to a platter. Season with additional flake salt and black pepper. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and scatter the walnut mixture on top. Serve right away.