Warm Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad with Tahini

2010 Sep/Oct

Black chickpeas have a nuttier flavour than their sandy-coloured counterpart. Find them at specialty food stores. If time doesn’t allow for a night of soaking, canned chickpeas will do in a pinch. The tahini sauce goes with pretty much anything – salads, roasted vegetables, even grilled fish.


  • 1 c. dried black chickpeas (soaked overnight) or one 28 oz. can chickpeas
  • 2 lbs. pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 t. ground allspice
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • Tahini Sauce :
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with salt
  • 4 T. lemon juice
  • 3 T. tahini paste
  • water as needed
  • 2 T. olive oil


Preheat oven to 425°F. If you’re using dried chickpeas fill a large saucepan with water, set the pan over medium heat and gently cook the chickpeas until they are tender, about an hour. Drain and set aside.

Toss the pumpkin with the garlic, allspice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on a tray in the oven for 15 to 25 minutes or until just soft and caramelized around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool.

While the pumpkin is cooking, make the tahini sauce. Mix the crushed garlic with 3 T. of lemon juice and the tahini. Thin with water until you have the consistency of heavy cream. Add the olive oil and check for seasoning, you should taste a balance between the nutty tahini and lemon.

Place the red onion in a bowl and toss with the remaining 1 T. of lemon juice (this takes away the harsh raw onion flavour and brings out the colour.)
To assemble the salad, place the pumpkin, chickpeas, red onion and cilantro in a mixing bowl, toss the mixture lightly, place on a serving platter and drizzle with the tahini sauce and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.