Hard Squash Hummus

September 20, 2013
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 5 to 6 cups
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

What You'll Need
  • 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 serrano peppers, sliced in half, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 drop Plain yogurt for garnish (optional)
  • 1 pinch Cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 1 pinch Roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
  • 1 handful 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mae
  • Caroline Cooks
    Caroline Cooks
  • Brenda Adelson
    Brenda Adelson
  • Katewawa
  • Eugene Plyako
    Eugene Plyako

22 Reviews

JudyDan January 31, 2024
This hummus is delicious. Next time I may use 2 peppers for extra heat. I also ate it as a topping for rice
Jared K. November 19, 2018
This was absolutely delicious! I made this for a large group and everybody raved about it! Will definitely be making this regularly.
Mae March 2, 2016
I'm confused about the amount of garlic to use. 1-2 heads of garlic would way more than a half cup, and sounds like too much garlic.
JudyDan January 31, 2024
This amounted to about half of a large head of garlic.
Bascula November 30, 2015
How much actual squash puree is used in this recipe, in case I'm not starting from "bake a squash" but already have prepared puree?
Jillian October 2, 2015
can this be frozen?
KC March 26, 2015
Just tried this, and it was delicious! I cut down quite a bit on the oil (used only a drizzle), used butternut squash, and skipped the peppers. It came out very sweet and creamy. It worked great on asiago cheese crackers. I think it would also pair with a variety of flavors other than hot peppers-- one commenter mentioned cumin, which I think would be a great savory addition.
Caroline C. October 20, 2014
So delicious. I tasted it right out of the Vitamix and WOW, such great flavor. I cut down on the oil and added a bit of water to combine untill smooth.
Brenda A. December 4, 2013
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.
Katewawa November 11, 2013
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!
Eugene P. November 8, 2013
Hummus is an Arabic word (???? ?ummu?) meaning "chickpeas," and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ???? ?????? ?ummu? bi ?a??na, which means "chickpeas with tahini". Lets call it Hard Squash Spread.
anne R. November 5, 2013
Excited to try this recipe....I have s gaggle of squash from the garden.....thanks
karen October 6, 2013
I forgot to say though that this looks good and I agree that more ways to use squash, which I love, are great!
karen October 6, 2013
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.
bgavin November 6, 2013
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"?
Craig J. November 7, 2013
It isn't tahini that makes hummus hummus, it's chickpeas. It's technically called hummus bi tahini, which means chickpeas with sesame paste.
Claire S. September 29, 2013
Oh, my goodness. On my way to the market right now for a generous bag o' squash.
1234cake September 24, 2013
Yum. Cannot wait to make this!
CarlaCooks September 23, 2013
How much tahini is used? It's missing from the ingredients list.
Modern F. September 23, 2013
1/4 cup tahini. Thanks for the catch -- it's now fixed in the ingredient list!
CarlaCooks September 23, 2013
Thanks for the quick response! I look forward to making this; sounds delicious!
Marian B. September 29, 2013
It's so good! I love having hummus alternatives. And more things to do with squash.