This delicious appetizer is the perfect thing to kick off the new year in a healthy way. It can also be served as a side dish, but served with pita crisps and/or veggies, its both vegan and vegetarian.
- 1½ lbs butternut or buttercup squash
- 1 lb sweet potato(es)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated (or pressed)
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice or to taste
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 tsp harissa*
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or to taste
- 1 to 2 tsp kosher salt to taste
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and veins removed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
- *Available at Relish Cooking Studio
- Cut squash and sweet potato(es) (if large) in half and rub cut surfaces with oil, salt and thyme. Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in a preheated 400F oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender. Cool. Remove squash and potato pulp from skin and mash with a potato masher or fork, or puree coarsely in a food processor. You should have about 3 cups.
- Mix in garlic, lemon juice, tahini, harissa, smoked paprika and salt. Season to taste. Spread onto a platter or in a bowl. Drizzle with Z’hug if using or serve as is, sprinkled with chopped cilantro and perhaps a drizzle of thick yogurt.
- Z’hug: In a blender or food processor, combine cilantro, jalapeno pepper, garlic and salt until well blended. With blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until it is completely mixed.