Summer seems to have evaporated this year. It’s like I blinked and July was over, and the same happened with August. Now it’s back to school time. What the….??!
I’m always sad to see the end of summer, because it means that darker wetter weather will soon be taking over. But whether it’s summer or not, crunchy pre-dinner snacks rule around here. Mixed nuts, chips and salsa, chips and guacamole, chips and pico de gallo….you get the idea.
And while I could hoover up chips and salsa any day, in the back of my mind I know it’s better to be eating more nutrient dense food: Enter roasted kabocha squash dip.
I first got to know kabocha squash a few years ago. Not normally a squash fan, I went head over heels for kabocha. It has a lovely sweet flavor (especially if you roast it) and a lighter texture compared with other squashes like butternut or acorn. Not so heavy, you know?
Another great thing about kabocha squash is you can eat the rind. Really! One way we’ve been enjoying kabocha is in a salad: Wilted kale, roasted kabocha (rind and all) and dried cranberry is a lovely salad that is good warm or cold, and — bonus — it keeps for several days in the fridge.
Now you will need to peel the rind for this dip. But you do so after it’s roasted, so it’s easy peasy. Some fresh lemon juice for brightness, ground cumin for earthy spice and a few tablespoons of tahini for creamy….Eve, what did you say….unctuousness?
All I can say is it’s so worth it to have a colorful, nutritious dip to welcome in the unofficial beginning of fall.
- 1 medium kabocha squash, roasted and rind removed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 tablespoons hot water
- salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
- First, prepare the kabocha squash: Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking tray with foil. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds, then slice the flesh into 1-inch thick wedges. Place wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Remove from oven and let cool, then slice off the rind. You should have about 14oz/400g of roasted squash.
- Place the roasted kabocha squash pieces in a food processor with the blade attachment, and pulse a few times.
- Add the lemon juice, tahini, cumin, cayenne pepper and hot water and puree until smooth.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and ensure you have a uniformly smooth dip. If you would like it thinner, add a bit more hot water.
- Add salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste, and transfer to a serving bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and serve with colorful tortilla chips for dipping. Enjoy!