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Monday, December 8, 2014

Roasted Buttercup Squash & Tahini-Yogurt Dip

Roasted Buttercup Squash & Tahini-Yogurt Dip
Somehow, we've already reached the halfway mark of the Twelve Weeks of Winter Squash. Today kicks off week numero six! My personal goal is to use a different squash each week than I've featured so far this year. That means no more pumpkin or butternut squash recipes. Sadly it also means no more spaghetti squash. I can't guarantee inspiration won't take control and wind up requiring one of these varieties, but I'm going to try my best.

As of today, I can officially check buttercup squash off of my list, too. I like working with buttercups because they're fairly manageable—smallish (for a winter squash), thinner skinned, seeds scoop out easily. Once cooked, their flesh is creamy and sweet (though not as sweet as a butternut); it also tends to have less moisture than a lot of other varieties.

Yesterday I was looking for something to munch on while doing all of my Sunday-things—laundry, dishes, housework, prep for the upcoming week...last minute oh-I-just-remembered homework. I found a recipe from Food & Wine for a dip made with butternut squash and decided to switch it out for the buttercup I had hanging out on the counter. With a few other minor adjustments, I had my munching food.

Roasted Buttercup Squash & Tahini-Yogurt Dip
I also gave myself bonus points for it being healthy munching food. And double-bonus points for clearing the crisper of a half a bag of baby carrots and a half a head of red cabbage (which I roasted and used for scooping up the dip). I will add roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers to the tray next time I make it with intention. And some wedges of toasted pita bread, as well.

If you're looking for a healthy dip to add to your next holiday, game day, or random Sunday spread, this one blends up silky smooth and has a sweetness that is tempered very nicely with a little smokiness and nuttiness from the additions of smoked paprika, sesame (in the form of tahini, oil, and seeds), and pepitas. Oh, and Greek yogurt also adds a little bit of tang.

Roasted Buttercup Squash & Tahini-Yogurt Dip
A silky smooth dip that is slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and slightly smoky with a bit of earthiness from the addition of tahini and pepitas.
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Roasted Buttercup Squash & Tahini-Yogurt Dip
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: roast appetizer condiment vegetarian sugar-free squash tahini yogurt fall winter

Ingredients (~2 cups)
  • 1 small (about 2 pound) buttercup squash
  • 1 small head of garlic
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
to garnish:
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted and salted
  • sesame oil, optional
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the squash into four wedges, then scoop out the seeds. Slice the top off of the head of garlic; set on a separate square of foil.

Drizzle the squash wedges and garlic head with a good coating of olive oil, then season them with a smattering of salt and pepper. Turn the squash so that each wedge is sitting on one of their flat edges. Wrap the small square of foil around the garlic, then set it on the baking sheet with the squash.

Slide the tray into the hot oven and roast for 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, and the garlic is soft and smooshy. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Buttercup Squash
Scoop the flesh of the squash from the skin and put it into a blender or food processor. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the skin and into the processor, as well. Add yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and smoked paprika. Puree until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to your liking.

Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with a little bit of sesame oil (or just more olive oil if you wish), and garnish with the sesame seeds and/or pepitas. Serve with crackers, chips, pita bread, and/or roasted vegetables.

Store covered in refrigerator, but bring back to room temperature before serving.

-adapted from Food & Wine

Looking for more ways to use Buttercup Squash? You might also like this Buttercup Squash Soup with Cilantro, Toasted Almonds, and Fried Ginger Threads. And if you're looking for a dip to serve alongside this one, this Roasted Garlic-Bacon Dip never disappoints. Between the two, no vampires would dare invade your get together.

12 Weeks of Winter Squash | #recipes #wintersquash #squash #pumpkin

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