This simple recipe is rich in color and flavor, the perfect thing to bring or serve at holiday parties and get togethers this season! There are two variations, one is ready in just 5 minutes, or the longer version adds an extra layer of decadence by deepening the flavors and nutrition of the recipe. Either way, you now have a bean and nut free hummus variation that perfectly suits the fall and winter season.
Prep Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Cook Timing: 40 minutes (optional).
Makes: 8 servings.
1 small winter squash or pumpkin, 1.5 lbs (alternatively, use 700 mL canned pumpkin)
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 cloves roasted garlic
¼ cup of tahini
½ Tablespoons garam masala spices
½ tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon mineral salt
½ teaspoon (or more to taste) of red pepper flakes
Parsley, olive oil and pumpkin seeds for garnish
Most hummus recipes follow the same basic recipe: combine a creamy base with tahini, garlic, lemon and spices; and this one is no different! Of course we add a WildFit element by substituting the use of chickpeas with squash. When I thought of pumpkin I thought of pumpkin spice, and then I thought, in the spirit of the holidays that it should work with hummus too! Now initially it sounds a little strange, garlic with cinnamon?? However in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes the two pair beautifully in combination with other spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, cloves, turmeric and cardamom. So, testing the theory I roasted a pie pumpkin and bulb of garlic, combined it with a garam masala blend of spices and viola! Perfection. If you are short on time, you can also have a similar version ready in just a few minutes by substituting canned pumpkin in for the fresh baked version, and some extra garlic powder to the recipe in place of the garlic cloves. This is a no fuss dish that still seems fancier and better thought out than a trip to the deli aisle of your grocery, and you can still skip most of the preservatives and legumes.
For the indulgent version, preheat your oven to 400°F. Take out a large baking dish and set it aside for your squash. Depending which WildFit season you are in, you may choose a winter gourd (Gentle Spring) rather than a pie pumpkin (Summer), and it will still have the same rich, creamy and slightly sweet taste. It’s all good as long as it is the right size! Cut the squash into quarters and remove the skin and seeds. Always remember to use dry hands and cut away from you. You can do this with a strong vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. Then chop your squash into 2×2 inch chunks, large enough to stay somewhat juicy but small enough to cook through relatively quickly. If this feels like a lot of work, you can also bake the quarters rubbed with oil and scoop the flesh from the skin afterwards.
Pour a small amount of oil into the baking dish, add squash pieces and toss with more oil. The oil helps to caramelize the squash and keeps it from drying out. Sprinkle the flesh with red pepper flakes to add a bit of subtle heat.
Prepare the roasted garlic by peeling off the outer papery white layers of the bulb, leaving only a couple layers on each bulb so they appear distinct but still protected. Next, using a sharp knife, chop the top points off of the cloves. Place the bulb in a small piece of tin foil and pour olive oil over the top of the cloves, then seal the foil closed. Tuck the bulb packet into the corner of the squash dish. Place the baking dish in the oven, baking the squash for 40 minutes, turning once at the halfway mark.
Allow the pieces to cool slightly, then transfer squash into your food processor, add 1-2 cloves of the roasted garlic, tahini, lemon juice, spices and salt. The garam masala blend that I have contains cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, peppercorns, fennel, mace and dried chilies. This particular blend contains a full complement of flavors (sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent) that add complexity to a dish. If you don’t have it at home you can use pumpkin pie spice and cumin in it’s place, but I think it is an important blend to keep stocked. Mix everything until it is very smooth. If the dip is too thick for your liking, add more tahini or olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until it is right.
If you are using canned pumpkin, of course you will skip right to adding everything to the food processor. You can use raw garlic if preferred, but it will be quite strong. Adding ½ – 1 teaspoon of organic garlic powder can provide a more delicate flavor without being overpowering.
To serve, pour room temperature hummus into a bowl and flatten with the back of a spoon. Garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, parsley leaves and pumpkin seeds. You can make it ahead as well, as the flavors only deepen with time. It keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!