I first had this at Nopi when I took my other half for his birthday back in March. I enjoyed it so much that I made a mental note of what I thought the ingredients were and vowed that I would try to make it myself.
I must admit, it's taken me until now to do so, and I can no longer remember the original well enough to honestly tell you how it compares. What I can say however is that it's an interesting combination, and one that you wouldn't necessarily expect to work.
But it does. It really does. Teamed with some wonderful fresh sourdough bread, for me it's a starter or picnic dip that I could happily consume, bite by bite without anything else. Except maybe a nice glass of white wine.
The recipe contains a whole butternut, so there's plenty to go round. It'll easily feed 8-10 as part of a selection of mezzes.
1 small butternut squash
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil (plus some for roasting & drizzling)
150ml boiling water
2 cloves garlic
10g flat leaf parsley
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1/4 tsp sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 200°C, then peel and chop the butternut into chunks. Place on a baking tray and lightly coat with olive oil and then sprinkle the cumin and coriander powder over. Give it a good shake to make sure the spices are evenly distributed, then roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes - until the butternut is soft.
Mash the butternut using a fork or potato masher, then make the tahini sauce: put the tahini paste in a medium sized bowl, then add 150ml boiling water, the olive oil and the lemon juice. Beat the mixture with a fork until you have a smooth paste about the thickness of gloss paint. Next, stir in the pomegranate molasses and crush in the garlic.
Add the butternut mash to the tahini paste and stir until both ingredients are combined. Roughly chop the parsley and coriander, fold into the dip and then if you want it to look extra good, transfer it all to a clean serving bowl. Toast the nigella and sesame seeds in a dry, hot frying pan for a couple of minutes until the sesame seeds turn golden then sprinkle over the dip.
Spoon onto sourdough bread or pitta, place it in your mouth and savour the flavour. Make sure no one else gets a look-in.