The other day I went on a bit of a culinary and linguistic journey, and ended up with delicious spicy squash and bean dip! Result!
This recipe started somewhere completely different from where it ended up. I had actually set out to make hummus, but when I found I was out of chickpeas -a horrific discovery indeed- I figured I’d try making it with black-eyed beans instead. Then when I found that I had half of a squash needing to be used up, it seemed like a potentially tasty place to use it, and a way to make the hummus without added oil. After blitzing in some garlic it became clear that with the flavour of the squash, the dip was crying out for some chili smokiness (mostly because I love those flavours and so they seem to sneak their way into a lot of recipes), and that was the finishing touch to make this dip beautiful and smooth and smoky.
However, it did leave me with a bit of a dilemma. As the dip evolved, it grew ever farther from any traditional hummus that I’d ever heard of. In fact, upon looking up the actual definition of hummus on dictionary.com and finding the following:
Middle Eastern Cookery. a paste or dip made of chickpeas mashed with oil, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini and usually eaten with pita.
I realized that it no longer really contained any of the elements that would define it as hummus. So spicy squash and bean dip it is!
As far as beans go, I pretty much love all of them (though I’m still working on my enjoyment of mung beans…)but there are a few which are my real go-to staples; at the top of that list is chickpeas. It’s one of those situations where if I consider a dish with beans in it and I think chickpeas will work, I tend not to look beyond that. So during this bean dip adventure -when a lack of chickpeas made me turn to the cupboard and dig a bag of black eyed beans from its recesses- I rediscovered this lovely bean which always seems to slip my mind. Black eyed beans are delicious and are loaded with healthy nutrients including potassium, vitamins A,E, and B, iron, protein and fiber. In this dip these powerful beans are added to equally powerful butternut squash which is also an extraordinarily rich source of vitamin A and potassium as well as being a great source of vitamin C.
All in all, the hummus turned spicy squash and bean dip has been a lovely and surprising turn of bean-y events. While I do love the idea of squash hummus and may try it yet, I think I’ll be hard pressed to beat this delicious and nutritious dip!
- 250g or 1 1/2 cup cooked beans (such as black-eyed, pinto, or navy/haricot)
- 600g raw butternut squash, about half of a small squash, halved and de-seeded
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed with a pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- Roast the squash by placing the halves cut side down in a roasting tin with a splash of water in a medium-hot oven for about an hour, or until very soft. Once cooked remove from the heat, flip the halves over to peel side down, and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Once the squash is cool, combine it with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it forms a dip as smooth as you like it. Rather than doing this in a food processor you could combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mash it all together until smooth and well combined.
- Serve with flat-bread, crackers or raw veggies.
- If you'd like it spicier you can add a bit more chipotle, or chili powder, or maybe add a bit of cayenne!