Disclaimer: In December 2019, I was commissioned to develop a variety of recipes for Dairy Australia. This is one of them, featuring the use of yoghurt. Styling and photography by me. Both the recipe and the photo is now property of Dairy Australia, however I was given permission to publish them on my website. © Dairy Australia. All rights reserved.
I don’t remember when I discovered the awesomeness that is combining tahini with miso paste. It’s a salty/savoury/umami flavour sensation in your mouth! Maybe the first time I tasted this was in a salad dressing, or maybe it was at a café I worked at for a little while, where they had a vegan bowl of vegetable goodness, baked with these two flavours.
While tahini and miso on their own are a wonderful marriage of flavours, once you add yoghurt, it becomes an exciting threesome 😉 a little lighter, a little tangier, a little smoother. Add enough plain yoghurt, and you have a great salad dressing. Add firm Greek yoghurt like in my recipe, and you get a soft paste that is pipe-able? (Is that a word?)
The key to making these work
Once you mix the tahini, miso and yoghurt for the swirls, it could be that you’ll think “No way, that’s so runny!”. There are a few reasons for that:
a) your yoghurt wasn’t firm enough. Sorry, but low fat, stirred yoghurt won’t work here. We want more of a cottage cheese or sour cream firmness from our yoghurt (hmmm, there are two ingredients to explore another time!).
b) your ingredients weren’t cold enough. Simple solution: just pop the paste into the fridge for an hour, that should make it firm enough to pipe.
I’ve used pumpkin for my vegetable squares to pipe the paste on. I tried sweet potato too, but wasn’t convinced about the flavours working well together. But please feel free to try it with other root vegetables like squash, or beetroot, or parsnip. Let me know what you think!
Finding the right base
Ah the base. First of all, flavour-wise these totally work without a base. However, as a canapé, you want these to be easy to be picked up from a board or tray. You could use a light cracker, or a think piece of toast, but I opted to make my own seaweed crackers. One thing to remember though, the seaweed crackers won’t stay crispy forever. Once the pumpkin sits on top, you better get it served, otherwise the moisture from the vegetable penetrates that seaweed, making it a little soft. But in terms of flavour, I felt this was the most interesting base.
Miso and tahini yoghurt swirls on pumpkin squares
- 300 g pumpkin
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon chilli oil
- 140 g natural yoghurt
- 60 g tahini
- 40 g white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon water
- 3 nori sheets
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Bring vegetable stock to a simmer. Peel the skin off the pumpkin, then cut into 3cm squares, approximately 1cm thick. Blanch in the stock for 1 minute. Drain, then place the pieces on a lined baking tray and cool in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C (190°C fan forced).
- Combine yoghurt, tahini and miso in a medium size bowl and whisk until a smooth paste forms. Transfer the paste into a piping bag with a large star nozzle.
- Brush the cooled pumpkin squares with chilli oil. Pipe swirls onto the squares. Top with black sesame seeds and slivered almonds. Bake for 25 minutes until the swirls are golden and the pumpkin is tender.
- While the squares are baking, make the seaweed crisps:
- Mix honey, soy and water and brush the nori sheets with the liquid. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, then fold each sheet in half. In a large, dry skillet, fry on low heat for 2 minutes on each side, while continuously pressing down on the nori to prevent it from puffing up. Remove from the skillet and cut into 3.5cm squares while warm.
- Arrange pumpkin squares on top of the nori crackers and serve warm as canapés on a platter.