Roasted butternut squash hummus, with red lentils, tahini and salt roasted seeds on top, is a luscious way to enjoy our favorite autumn squash.
What Is Hummus?
Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip or spread, traditionally made into a puree from chick peas, tahini and other ingredients.
I know all about hummus because I am second generation Syrian. In my home, growing up, we always made hummus from scratch.
Fast forward to the 21st, where plant based foods have become elevated, and so expanding the traditional hummus, just makes sense.
Why Butternut Hummus?
Butternut squash, in my opinion, has the most flavor of all the autumn squash veggies. Squash can often be very mild in flavor, just look at the pumpkin we all rave about.
When I first made pumpkin hummus, I knew it needed way more flavor added, since pumpkin is basically bland in flavor. For this reason, I drizzled chili oil across the top, instead of the traditional olive oil drizzle.
Butternut squash, which has lots of flavor, with its beautiful bright orange color, needed to be made into a hummus that would not lessen its color. For this reason, I chose red lentils instead of chick peas to make this delicious hummus.
Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds
Many of us love Pepitas, roasted pumpkin seeds, and have become popular this time of year. And so, I roasted the butternut squash seeds in olive oil and salt.
Once the seeds were roasted and cooled, I ground them into a coarse crumble to sprinkle on top of the butternut squash hummus.
The nutty flavor, paired with coarse salt, tastes amazing on top of the garlic, orange, red lentil infused hummus!
The Challenge Of Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus
A challenge you ask? The challenge is definitely not in the making of the hummus, but rather a challenge of a different sort!
My local library, AACPL, invited me to accept a Mystery Ingredient Challenge! I was to stop at the library and pick up a bag, set aside for me, and inside the bag would have a mystery ingredient.
Along with the mystery ingredient, a big fat butternut squash, was two books with titles that somehow were woven into the challenge. I was to make a dish from the mystery ingredient.
How fun, for us adults, to partake in games, mysteries and group participation in something that we might learn something from each other.
Later, in November, we will all gather for a zoom meeting and share what we made, and learned from the mystery ingredient challenge!
How To Make Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus
In the making of this hummus, first the squash and the seeds need to be roasted. I oiled and salted the seeds, then laid them on a baking sheet along with the squash.
Once the seeds began to smell nutty, I removed the seeds and allowed the squash to finish roasting until soft.
Meanwhile, I prepared the red lentils by simmering them with lots of garlic, a few hot chilies and a large orange rind. Traditional hummus is made with the acidity of lemons, but I used the acidity of an orange rind instead. The added flavor soften the kick of the chilis and enhanced the squash.
Finally, once the lentils and squash are cooked and cooled, they are pureed along with tahini and a few other ingredients.
I chose to serve the hummus inside the roasted butternut squash shell, and sprinkle the salt roasted, crushed seeds on top. Spectacular!
It just so happened that I had a homemade loaf of spelt bread on hand to serve with the hummus, but I was also tempted to make my pumpkin pita bread, using butternut squash as well. Next time!
- Baking sheet pan
- Sauce pan
- Blender, processor or Immersion blender
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Metal spoon – to scoop and stir
- Measuring spoon
- Measuring cup
- Veggie peeler
- Butternut squash
- Red lentils
- Chili peppers
- Orange rind
- Butternut squash seeds
Roasted Butternut Squash HummusCourse: Side DishesCuisine: FusionDifficulty: Easy
Roasted butternut squash hummus, with red lentils, tahini and salt roasted butternut seeds on top.
Butternut squash – 2 cups, roasted and pureed
Red lentils – 1 cup
Garlic – 3 cloves
Chili pepper – 2 small
Water – 2 1/2 cups
Orange rind – from a whole orange
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp or to taste, more for seeds
Tahini – 1/4 cup
Sumac – 1 tbsp
Butternut squash seeds – removed from the squash
- Preheat the oven to 375
- Cut the squash in half (lengthwise), scoop out the seeds. Rinse the seeds to remove stringy squash, pat dry, sprinkle with salt. Lay the squash, face down, on an olive oil brushed baking sheet with the seeds on the side. Roast the seeds until they smell nutty, about 15 minutes, and the squash until tender, about 45 minutes.
- Cool the seeds and grind them, setting aside to add later. Cool the squash and carefully scoop out the tender flesh, reserving the butternut shell, should you want to serve the hummus in it.
- While the squash is roasting, place the lentils, water, garlic, chilies and orange rind in a small sauce pan. Simmer until the lentils are soft and have absorbed most of the water. Cool.
- Transfer the cooled squash and cooled lentil mixture (rinds and all), to a processor or blender, and add the sumac, tahini and salt. Puree until creamy. Serve with the prepared seeds on top.