Roast

Roasted & Raw Vegetables With Spicy Tahini Cream

June 15, 2021
9 Ratings
Photo by Rick Martinez
Author Notes

Even when I am eating veg-forward meals, I need my sweet heat. Luckily, there are a lot of fruits and vegetables that will give me my sugar fix without having to add any actual sugar. Some of my favorite sweet vegetables are sweet potatoes (duh!) and beets. When you roast them, you are not only concentrating the flavors, you're also concentrating the sugars—which I obviously love. And there is so little effort involved: Literally stick them in the oven and roast until you can poke them with a knife without resistance.

I take the the sweet potatoes one step further and roast them again (think: twice baked potatoes!). There is a lot of water in a sweet potato and I think that they taste best when you can caramelize some of those sugars. And all you have to do is break them up in pieces, drizzle with olive oil and salt, and roast until the skins are crispy and the flesh is browned. I have to admit, when I roast a sweet potato like that, I usually just eat it straight off the baking tray because it is so incredibly delicious. But I have avoided that temptation and added a spicy tahini cream to cut through that crispy and creamy caramelly potato. The tahini cream does a great job of filling you up and you feel satisfied but also won't put you to sleep.
Rick Martinez

Watch This Recipe
Roasted & Raw Vegetables With Spicy Tahini Cream
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 3 large beets, preferably with greens attached, scrubbed clean and left whole
  • 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed clean and left whole
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup tahini, well-stirred
  • 7 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¾ cups coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • ¾ cups coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 chile habanero, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons raw peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons raw pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons raw pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • ¼ teaspoons crushed chile de árbol or red pepper flakes
  • 1 chile poblano, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 grapefruit (your favorite kind), peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1 chile serrano, stemmed, seeded and sliced into rings
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Place beets and sweet potato on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until tender and a paring knife inserted into the thickest part passes through without any resistance, 60 to 80 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on pan. Meanwhile, increase oven temperature to 475°.
  2. Once the beets and sweet potatoes have cooled, transfer beets to a medium bowl and set aside. Break up the sweet potato into 3” pieces with your hands and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast until browned in spots and potato skin is lightly charred, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool on sheet tray, then arrange on a platter.
  3. Using gloves and a parchment-lined cutting board, peel and trim beets; cut into small wedges. Transfer pieces to a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In a blender, combine tahini, ¼ cup lime juice, garlic, basil, mint, habanero, 2 teaspoons salt, and ¾ cup water. Blend on high until sauce is light green in color and the consistency of sour cream; thin with more water if necessary. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast peanuts, pistachios, and pepitas, tossing frequently, until charred in spots, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Toast sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, oregano, and chile de árbol in the same skillet, tossing frequently, until sesame seeds are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with toasted nuts; toss to combine.
  6. Cut beet greens into thin strips; toss in 1 tablespoon each lime juice and olive oil; season with salt to taste. Arrange on platter. Toss poblano in 1 tablespoon each lime juice and olive oil; season with salt to taste. Arrange on platter. Toss cooked beets in 1 tablespoon each lime juice and olive oil; season with salt to taste. Arrange on platter. Arrange grapefruit on platter.
  7. To serve, spread a thin layer of spicy tahini cream on a large plate and top with desired vegetables. Sprinkle each serving with toasted nut mixture and top with sliced serrano.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dawn Hood Patterson
    Dawn Hood Patterson
  • Jerome Boyd
    Jerome Boyd
  • Anna Shakova
    Anna Shakova
  • Jody Judge
    Jody Judge
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

11 Reviews

Jody J. June 15, 2021
Oh my heavens I am staggered there are only 10 reviews for this, it is unbelievably delicious! The sauce is fantastic, the vegetable mix is divine, the sweet potato method is wondrous, it is fun to make and everyone goes crazy for it. I used the habanero despite some trepidation and it was perfect, slow but then spicy, amazing. I loved watching the videos, so funny and the kitchen is just beautiful. I have been watching the videos despite being a vegetarian, and was thrilled to see this one. I've made it twice since and it's gotten rave reviews from all. I'm definitely going to make it again this summer, the beets did take longer. Someone else said we all felt great afterward and it's true, we all felt very satisfied but not stuffed - all the better for dessert!! Thank you Rick, I think you're a fabulous chef!!
 
Dawn H. May 2, 2021
This tahini sauce is mind-blowingly delicious. I substitute cilantro for the mint and want to add it to everything I make. Also, the twice-baked sweet potatoes have because a stand-alone staple in our house... Perfect for make ahead meals and lunches (we bake them early in the week and do the second bake right before we eat).
 
lavalamp March 30, 2021
this was so good! surprisingly good - i was intrigued by the video of rick making it, but thought it might be kind of a strange combo that wouldn't be cohesive. i was wrong! the sauce is SO tasty, and really pulls everything together. will make it again!
 
KourtneyA February 14, 2021
I really like Rick Martinez so I was happy to see him make a vegetarian dish (please do more)! That tahini sauce is delicious! I couldn't find habanero at my local green grocer so I used jalapeno, which is fine for me because it's less spicy. So yummy
 
KourtneyA February 14, 2021
I really like Rick Martinez so I was happy to see him make a vegetarian dish (please do more)! That tahini sauce is delicious! I couldn't find habanero at my local green grocer so I used jalapeno, which is fine for me because it's less spicy. So yummy
 
KourtneyA February 14, 2021
I really like Rick Martinez so I was happy to see him make a vegetarian dish (please do more)! That tahini sauce is delicious! I couldn't find habanero at my local green grocer so I used jalapeno, which is fine for me because it's less spicy. So yummy
 
KourtneyA February 14, 2021
I really like Rick Martinez so I was happy to see him make a vegetarian dish (please do more)! That tahini sauce is delicious! I couldn't find habanero at my local green grocer so I used jalapeno, which is fine for me because it's less spicy. So yummu
 
Jerome B. January 24, 2021
Very very tasty. Shelves were a little empty so I had to make a few alterations: smooth peanut butter + sesame oil instead of tahini; roasted parsnips instead of beetroots. Worked brilliantly! Used leftover sauce on noodles; also would recommend.
 
Anna S. January 23, 2021
The tahini and herb dressing was delicious and so refreshing! I loved the combo of raw and roasted veggies, especially with the dressing. Fantastic for a light dinner, and you feel great after. My family loved it! We’ll be making it again!
 
Louisa I. January 22, 2021
I liked the tahini sauce and the method to cook sweet potatoes (caramelization love) and will remember those!

My beets took longer in the oven than 80 minutes, despite them being quite small. I just kept them in there when I was doing the 2nd bake of the sweet potatoes.
 
erra January 17, 2021
Wow! This was a truly wonderful meal. While there are several steps, it was very easy to prepare. The effort was worth it - the salad is so flavorful, colorful, and has great texture. I've never done the twice-baked method for my sweet potatoes and I will definitely be using it again. The tahini sauce is really good and I'm excited to have leftovers to use in my lunches this week. I will be keeping this recipe in my repertoire!