Besides having been christened with the most appealing name among squashkind, the butternut, in my mind, reigns supreme in flavour and versatility. I have trouble holding myself back from any recipe with butternut in the title. It’s like those purple monsters from Sesame Street get into my subconscious and start murmuring butter; nut, over and over again until I just melt like a pat of butter on a hot nut. Ok, that was awful, but what were you expecting?
When my explorations led me to Orangette’s recipe for Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini, it seemed like a perfectly logical thing to make for a special dinner companion on Saturday. Salad is a staple around these parts; I like to have one available with every meal I serve. But it’s winter, and the fresh crispy coolness of the salad just doesn’t cut it like it does in the summer. So all I had to read were the words warm and salad in the same sentence and I was hooked. Not to mention the butternut thing.
In spite of the rest of the meal’s merit (augmented by the fact that it was the first time I’ve ever cooked a pork tenderloin and it turned out simply mah-velous), today I chose to highlight the little guy — the side dish. I’m a big advocate of vegetables and I think they deserve just as much of the spotlight as the big meaty mains. So move over porky.