Butternut Squash Hummus


Lose the legumes: butternut squash creates a rich hummus that’s perfect for fall, particularly when topped with spicy pumpkins seeds.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1/2 butternut squash (cut in half lengthwise), seeds removed (about 2 cups cooked squash)

3/4 cup tahini paste

1 tablespoon molasses

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Spicy pumpkin seeds for garnish

1.     Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2.     Place the squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet with 1/2-cup water. Place in the oven to roast until squash is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn right side up to cool completely. Scoop the flesh from the skin of the squash and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

3.     Add the tahini, molasses, garlic, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and pulse several times. Add the lemon juice and continue to puree to make a smooth paste, pale in color. (If the mixture is too thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to make a smooth paste.) Store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve. This will keep refrigerated for up to five days. When ready to serve, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with cilantro, pumpkin seeds and additional sea salt.

Sidebar: On the Menu: Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds can project as much personality as the jack-o-lantern from which they came. I lean toward hot: red pepper flakes or a Szechuan spice blend (Whole Foods stocks a particularly good mix packed with garlic, chiles and sesame seeds). For a milder option, try dried rosemary, thyme or oregano. To make, toss seeds with olive oil and preferred spices, then roast on a lined baking sheet at 350°F until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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