Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Dips

April 18, 2019 by General Administrator

What could be more 1970s than a dip? Bowls of sour cream blended with onion soup mix, or pink concoctions featuring a lot of mayonnaise served with crisps may have a retro appeal but here is an up-to-the minute dip you can serve without a heavy dose of irony. It features roasted pumpkin or butternut squash, toasted nuts and a zing of fresh mint. Spread it on triangles of toasted pita, or thin slices of toast. It also freezes very well, in case you don’t eat it all in one go.

Vaguely Greek Squash and Walnut Dip
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients
1 kg pumpkin or winter squash
35g walnuts or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion (or the equivalent in tiny Canalside onions), finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely-chopped mint
1/8 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
40g parmesan cheese (or other sharp, hard cheese)

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cut the squash or pumpkin into large pieces, remove the seeds (you can keep these to roast as a nibble), and peel.

Place the squash on a baking tray, put in the oven, and roast until it’s very tender—between 40 minutes and an hour. Turn it occasionally if you remember, so that it browns a bit on all sides. When it’s soft, remove it and let it cool.

Turn the oven to 150C and put the nuts on another tray. Once the oven has cooled down put the nuts in and toast them for 5-10 minutes, or until they smell fragrant and are ever so lightly brown.

Heat the oil in a small pan over low heat and add the onion. Cook it gently until it’s very tender, sweet and lightly caramelised—about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Combine the onion, cooked squash, nuts, mint, nutmeg and cheese in a bowl and blend with an immersion blender (or food processor) until the mixture is pleasantly smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on little pieces of toast, or crackers.

Recipe adapted from Martha Rose Schulman in the New York Times (2012).

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