Smoky butternut squash hummus

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Roasted squash, smoked chickpeas and gently warming spices give what I think is a lovely autumnal twist on hummus. 

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This is a dip that I would have to rate as one of my favourite dishes to make and to eat. It has always proved popular whenever I have made it at food demos and whenever I have served it to visitors.

I have a real love affair with hummus: not the insipid sludgy stuff that is sold in the shops but the simple magnificence of a home-made hummus.

This is a full-on autumnal hummus: roasted butternut squash, smoked chick peas, plenty of garlic and olive oil and a hit of smoked paprika.

I like to use smoked chickpeas in hummus as it adds such an excellent flavour and really livens it up, but you can use unsmoked chickpeas. My recipe for smoked hummus is here.

The chickpeas were simply smoked over oak chips in my indoor hob-top smoker for just over 10 minutes and left to cool in the smoker before using. I sometimes pop in extra garlic cloves to smoke with the chickpeas.

You don’t need to smoke the chickpeas of course, as this hummus is lovely with chickpeas straight from the can.

The squashes are currently in plentiful supply on the allotment and, when roasted, they lend themselves well to being used in a hummus. This hummus also works well with roasted pumpkin and other squashes.

I use a fork here to mash it all up, giving a chunky and shamelessly rustic hummus, but you can use a food processer if you want it very smooth.

Recipe: spiced butternut squash hummus

  • about 400g butternut squash, roasted* and cooled
  • 1 can (about 400g) of chickpeas, drained and smoked (see above for smoking tips)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1-2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
  • about 80ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to pour over
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika, plus a little extra to dust over
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, crushed
  • juice of 1 lemon

*cut a squash into chunks, leaving the skin on. Brush a little oil over the surface and a little salt over. Roast at 190C (fan) for about 40 minutes or until the squash becomes soft and the flesh takes on brown flecks.

(1) Scrape the roasted squash flesh off its skin and into a bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix well with a fork, pressing down to squash it all together: you should end up with a fairly coarse paste. I like the hummus on the thicker side but if you want it runnier, add more oil or a splash of water.

(2) Taste and adjust seasoning: eg) a little more salt or lemon juice. Spoon into a serving bowl and pour over a little more oil. Sprinkle over a little more smoked paprika.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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