When faced with an abundance of winter squash, Harvest Restaurant chef Coby Lee Ming might have served it mashed, roasted or puréed into soup. Instead, she made hummus. At the Louisville, Kentucky, restaurant, Ming roasts kabocha squash and blends it into homemade hummus; the earthy flavors balance the accompanying bold flavors of tahini and garlic-chile paste. Ming dips pretzel crostini and pickled vegetables into the hummus at the restaurant, but at home, you can serve this newfangled dip alongside any crunchy accompaniments you have on hand.
Recipe adapted from Coby Lee Ming, Harvest Restaurant, Louisville, KY
Yield: 2 cups
Cook Time: 35 minutes
1 medium kabocha squash--peeled, seeds removed and discarded, and flesh coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head garlic
One 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1½ tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic-chile paste
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, toss the squash pieces with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet, place in the oven and roast until the squash flesh is fork tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
2. Slice the top of the garlic head off and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then wrap in aluminum foil and place in the oven until softened and fragrant, about 30 minutes. Reserve two of the cloves for the hummus and save the rest for another use.
3. In a food processor, combine the cooked squash, roasted garlic cloves, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic-chile paste. Process until smooth, season with salt and serve at room temperature.