The season in which the streetside grocery stalls start populating with squashes of all sorts is a most glorious time (paired with prancing through piles of crunchy autumn leaves, we're talkin' pure bliss). Comforting, nutritious, delicious- squashes really hit the autumn spot. And the most prominent of said squashes is, of course, the pumpkin.
Pumpkin has become a pretty popular flavour in recent years, but it is usually the sweetness of the squash that is featured, paired with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. I wanted to make a pumpkin-inspired dish for my family Thanksgiving, but did not want to go the sweet route. Enter: Simple Savoury Pumpkin Dip!
The sweetness of pumpkin pairs beautifully with strong savoury flavours. Garlic and sesame make the pumpkin absolutely irresistible!
This recipe makes enough for your family dinner, plus extra for your fridge. Feel free to half the recipe if you, for some reason, don't want to keep any deliciousness for yourself.
Simple Savoury Pumpkin Dip!
2 medium pie pumpkins (3 if you'd like to make a bowl from a pumpkin)
1.5 tbsp sesame oil
1.5 tbsp organic* tamari/soy sauce**
3/4tsp sea salt***
4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pepper to taste
~1/2 cup (or more) of baked pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins you just hollowed out, or ones you purchased from the store because removing pumpkin seeds from their stringy mess can be a dissatisfying endeavour, though I hope you do use them because that means we're creating less waste and using as many parts of our food as possible.
* Organic is important because these soy-based products are heavily coated in pesticides and super-GMO when not organic.
** I used tamari, which tends to be a lot stronger than soy sauce, so if you're using the latter you may need around 2 tbsp instead.
*** If you don't have sea salt, around 1/2 tsp of table salt is probably equivalent.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. If you're making a pumpkin bowl, wash the exterior of the bowl pumpkin, because you may be eating it later (see below).
3. Cut your pumpkins in half, remove stringy bits and all seeds. Place open side down on baking sheets (on foil, or lightly oiled on their open sides if you so desire), and place in oven.
4. If you're making pumpkin seeds, and you really should, remove seeds from stringy bits and rinse clean. Pat dry with a towel and toss in oil, salt and pepper (or other seasoning of your choice). Place in oven with pumpkin.
5. Bake pumpkins (and seeds) for around 25-35 minutes. Check the bowl pumpkin and the seeds at around 15 minutes- you want the pumpkin just cooked enough to not be raw, but not so cooked that it weakens its walls. The seeds should be flipped at around 15 minutes. The other pumpkins should be removed when the shells easily indent with pressure. Pumpkin seeds should be ever-so-slightly browned when finished.
6. Once pumpkins are cooked, remove and let cool. Carve inner pumkin flesh out with a spoon.
7. Blend pumpkin flesh with all ingredients listed except pumpkin seeds, puree with immersion bender or other such blending device.
8. Add pumpkin seeds if you went that route. keeping some to enjoy sans dip, as well.
9. If you made the good decision to make a pumpkin bowl, serve the dip in said vessel and adorn with edible nasturtiums (so delicious, not to mention gorgeous- featured in ptoho above) or lovely fallen leaves, plus sprinkled with freshly baked pumpkin seeds.
10. Love it. Enjoy with chopped veggies.
What to do with the bowl afterward? Why, chop it up and stick it in a soup, of course! The stewing will finalize its cookedness. Blend smooth (or don't) and then stick your former bowl in a bowl, coming full circle.
Let me know how your pumpkin dip fares!