Hard Squash Hummus

By • September 20, 2013 • 14 Comments


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Author Notes: This recipe is adapted by Karen Leibowitz from a dish served at the San Francisco restaurant Bar Tartine, where chef Nicolaus Balla tops roasted and puréed butternut squash with sunflower sprouts, curried yogurt, cilantro purée and pomegranate molasses. The toppings suggested here are somewhat simpler -- creativity is encouraged. This recipe serves a crowd, but freezes well. We recommend using delicata, but if you aren't yet sick of butternut, it can also be used. Modern Farmer

Makes 5 to 6 cups

  • 2 pounds hard squash, such as delicata or butternut
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 heads garlic, separated into cloves and peeled (about 1⁄2 cup cloves)
  • 2 or 3 serrano peppers, sliced in half, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Plain yogurt for garnish (optional)
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
  • Crusty bread, pita, or crackers
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Rub flesh with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 generous pinches salt.
  2. Place squash cut side down in roasting pan and bake until very soft, about 1 hour.
  3. While squash is baking, place garlic, serranos, and remaining olive oil in a small pot over low heat. Poach garlic and peppers in oil until completely soft (30 to 40 minutes). Garlic should be very lightly browned.
  4. Scoop out flesh from roasted squash and place in food processor. Add garlic-poaching olive oil, garlic, serranos, tahini and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Hummus texture will vary depending on squash variety and size; add up to 1⁄2 cup water until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 1 week.
  6. Garnish each cup of hummus with 1⁄4 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, and sprinkling of cilantro leaves. Serve with crusty bread, pita, or crackers.

Comments (14) Questions (0)

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5 months ago Brenda Adelson

I also halved the recipe, and also feel uncomfortable loading this delicious dish onto the "hummus" bandwagon -- it will live on far beyond the life of the hummus fad. Used butternut squash, it was a HUGE hit with the family as a Thanksgiving Day appetizer. Served with crusty bread and herb flatbread crackers. Also made curried yogurt and cilantro puree for garnish. I will be making more for myself, for sure.

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5 months ago Katewawa

I halved the recipe (5 cups is a LOT!) and used delicata squash. Friends loved it! One tip - if you use delicata, the skin is edible so I just trimmed the ends (and removed seeds) and then threw the baked halves into the blender. It came out great. Next time I might try a little extra seasoning (cumin?) Thanks for this recipe!

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5 months ago Eugene Plyako

Hummus is an Arabic word (حمّص ḥummuṣ) meaning "chickpeas," and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is حمّص بطحينة ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna, which means "chickpeas with tahini". Lets call it Hard Squash Spread.

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6 months ago anne rush

Excited to try this recipe....I have s gaggle of squash from the garden.....thanks

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7 months ago karen

I forgot to say though that this looks good and I agree that more ways to use squash, which I love, are great!

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7 months ago karen

Actually I would call this Squash Pesto because it is more like a "pesto" which means paste than is with hummus. The only ingredient it shares with hummus is garlic & possibly lemon juice. Just sayin. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone calls something that is something else and has no connection to the original recipe.

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5 months ago bgavin

Karen, apparently this was first published without tahini...but once that was remedied, I am ready to let the world call this hummus. Or maybe "hummus"?

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5 months ago Craig Jeffcott

It isn't tahini that makes hummus hummus, it's chickpeas. It's technically called hummus bi tahini, which means chickpeas with sesame paste.

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7 months ago Claire Suellentrop

Oh, my goodness. On my way to the market right now for a generous bag o' squash.

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7 months ago 1234cake

Yum. Cannot wait to make this!

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7 months ago CarlaCooks

How much tahini is used? It's missing from the ingredients list.

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7 months ago Modern Farmer

1/4 cup tahini. Thanks for the catch -- it's now fixed in the ingredient list!

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7 months ago CarlaCooks

Thanks for the quick response! I look forward to making this; sounds delicious!

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7 months ago Marian Bull

Marian is an editor at Food52.

It's so good! I love having hummus alternatives. And more things to do with squash.