Still continuing with squashpalooza on here–as if I could not include a recipe containing squash for more than one blog entry. This time of year, squash is my raison d’être and I will not be stopped. Can you think of a vegetable that works so well in both savoury and sweet applications? I certainly can’t. For all of you who don’t love squash the way that I love squash, I think this hummus will be the vehicle to transform you into a squash adorer. It has just a whisper of squash; the flavour isn’t overwhelming and definitely not dessert-tasting–a trait butternut squash has a tendency showcase, even when you don’t want it to.
This recipe fires on all cylinders. It’s rich, creamy, intensely savoury yet a touch sweet, mellow, smooth, and crowd-pleasing. Subdued roasted garlic takes the place of its more pungent, raw counterpart, marrying with delicate butternut squash for a dip that will please even the most sophisticated hummus aficionado. My traditional hummus recipe is on the back-burner until further notice.
I’m making it again today, and likely, again when that batch runs out. This is fall and winter’s answer to summer’s brighter, zippier dip. Think of the traditional, lemony hummus as the soprano and this recipe as the bass. It has guts. It’ll shake a room. It’ll knock the socks off your taste buds.
There is one extra step involved to this particular hummus recipe: roasting the squash and garlic. This takes about 1 hour of hands-off time, maybe 2 minutes hands-on. But don’t let turning on the oven turn you off. You can do double-duty, roasting extra squash to make this Squash Teriyaki Sauce, a soup, or preserve it in the freezer for when a squash hummus craving strikes. Roasting extra garlic means that you can throw some in salad dressings, pastas, or spread it on a crostini adorned with avocado slices (aka avocado toast).
In place of lemon juice, I’ve opted for a dark balsamic vinegar. To highlight the squash’s sweetness, a touch of maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon bring it all together. The tahini is cut way down, as the squash is the creamy base here. Peppery olive oil is a must, as is a good crack of black pepper. It’s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. I can’t stop, won’t stop, praising this hummus.
As I mentioned in my last post, Canadian Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks or so away, and I’m thinking this fits in the appetizer category quite nicely. Or, if you’re getting a kickstart on your American Thanksgiving menu, this has the stock flavours that diners expect, yet will be a touch surprised by. And Halloween is another reason to whip this up. If you celebrate none of the above or are just looking to increase your hummus quota, I can’t think of a better excuse than a Tuesday night to make this recipe.
More butternut squash hummus recipes from around the web:
- 1 small butternut squash, halved vertically and seeded
- 1 head garlic, cut half horizontally
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup mashed, roasted butternut squash or pumpkin (from above)
- ½ head roasted garlic (from above)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1-1.5 tsp sea salt (use full amount if chickpeas are unsalted)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place squash flesh-side down on parchment. Place garlic in a piece of foil and bunch up into a ball. Set on baking sheet beside squash. Roast for 1 hour, until squash is tender and garlic is fragrant. Cool until you can handle it comfortably.
- Mash squash and measure out 1 cup. Reserve remaining squash for another recipe or mash and freeze. Squeeze half of the garlic out, leaving the papery skin behind.
- Add all ingredients, including the roasted squash and garlic from above, to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Purée until smooth, scraping down sides when necessary, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and eat immediately, or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Roasted squash can be mashed and frozen in a ziptop bag for up to 2 months for use in soups, baking, or more hummus