Tahini and I have a thing going. Once I open a jar, all I can think about is how I can mix it into whatever dish I’m preparing. Eggs, pasta, spinach – you name it, I’ve tried to incorporate tahini into it. I even have more than one muffin recipe that calls for it (weekend project!).
Last night, I took that obsession to a new level when I ripped this 101 Cookbooks recipe for Miso Sesame Winter Squash apart so I could incorporate my favorite ingredient of the moment and keep from spending more than an hour in the kitchen. The result was delicious (but I bet the original would be too, if I had any desire to buy molasses and if Boston was able to get more than four kinds of squash in February).
Tahini Orange Squash and Tofu
- 2 pounds butternut squash (about 1 – I bought two halves already peeled and sliced at the grocery store!) halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
- 8 oz firm or extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped into bite-sized pieces (optional)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil – used it all in the sauce
- 1 teaspoon tamari
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 heaping tablespoon tahini
- juice from one orange (about 1/2 cup)
- juice from half a lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 5 tablespoons water
- Cut the tofu into large slices (4 pieces or so total) and press between cutting boards lined with paper towels (I usually throw a heavy pot on top for some pressure). Let sit while you continue prepping.
- Slice the squash into small pieces and set it to steam above a pot of water – mine took about 20-30 minutes (our timer is broken, sorry!) until you can easily cut it with a fork.
- While that’s cooking, whisk together the sauce in a medium sized bowl. Cut up the tofu into smaller chunks and add to the bowl as well, letting marinade for at least 10 minutes.
- Saute an onion in a large frying pan/wok with a little sesame oil. (This was not part of the original recipe, but it worked really well to soak up the sauce, so I’m sticking with it!)
- When the onion is a bit translucent, add the tofu to the pan and cook on high, letting the sauce start to boil down. *If you want to put some quick rice, couscous, or quinoa on to cook, this is the time to do it!*
- After about 5 minutes, add the squash to the pan as well and cook together for another 5 minutes or so. The tofu won’t have a crust or anything like that, but when it’s warm and you can’t stand the amazing smells anymore, it’s ready to eat!