Butternut Squash Hummus with Pomegranate

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times


This popular appetizer from the Middle East is a sort of sweet-tasting hummus, in which winter squash substitutes for chickpeas. This recipe is an adaptation of one by Martha Rose Shulman  from The New York Times.


2 1/2 pounds winter squash, like butternut

1/3 cup sesame tahini, stirred if the oil has separated out

2 large garlic cloves, halved, with green shoots removed

Salt to taste

2 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

Pomegranate seeds and extra virgin olive oil for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush lightly with olive/coconut oil. If using butternut squash, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy membranes, and lay cut-side down on the foil-covered baking sheet. If using a thick slice of squash, scrape off any membranes. Bake 45 minutes to one hour, or until very soft. A knife should cut through it without resistance. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then peel and transfer to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the tahini, and puree until smooth and creamy.

2. Combine the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle, and mash to a paste you can also grate the garlic. Add to the food processor along with the lemon juice and cumin, and blend together. Add salt to taste.

3.  Serve with sprouted grain wraps, or use as a dip for you veggies.