Friday 22 May 2009

Pumpkin Hummus

A walk down the aisles of any supermarket will find us spoilt for choice. In fact it is a tyranny of choice. Years ago a trip to buy dips and chips was easy. For example, when I was little we had three flavours of chips (or crisps) in the local milk bar – chicken, salt and vinegar and plain. Everyone had their favourite. Mine was (gulp) chicken. Now we head off to the supermarket in search of lime and black pepper or morrocan seasoning chips and – ooh, aah – we spy a new line of roasted garlic chips. Must try those. We are now a nation of fickle consumers. Where is the loyalty?

Unfortunately loyalty is becoming a thing of the past in processed foods, just like last year’s taste sensation. We are forever being tempted by the new and creative. It is all well and good if we just want to be seeking the elusive best ever But what if you arrive at your favourite and find it is just a fleeting fad.

We never had dips when I was a little tacker but when I moved to Melbourne as a young university student, wide-eyed in wonder at all the fabulous cafes, dips became all the rage. There were a few you would expect to encounter everywhere – hummus, tsatsiki and baba ganoush.

Interestingly, these dips still feature heavily in cafes but the supermarket shelves of dips have become overwhelming in their variety. Beetroot, pumpkin, rocket, pesto, carrot, lentil, sweet potato, spicy, nutty, cheesy. Like chips, fashions come and go in dips.

Ricki recently posted about curried pumpkin hummus and I was reminded of the pumpkin hummus I used to buy regularly. It was one of my favourites but it seems others did not share my enthusiasm. Or maybe it just had to go to make way for the new flavours. Anyway it disappeared from the supermarket shelves without explanation.

I miss my pumpkin hummus and so I was inspired by Ricki to make some. As I buy my pumpkin raw, I decided to roast it for more flavour. I had plenty of garlic about so I also roasted a bulb of that while the oven was on. I didn’t add any oil because the pumpkin, with the little oil used for roasting, gave enough moisture.

The resulting pumpkin hummus was delicious and creamy. It was full of deep warm flavours without the bite usually found in dips with raw garlic. It lasted well for about a week without becoming watery as dips often do. I enjoyed it for lunches with fresh vegetables and corn thins. In fact, it was better than the stuff I was buying from the shops. Not as convenient but a recipe is forever, unlike a new flavoured processed food!

Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Hummus

650g pumpkin, peeled and diced
oil spray
1 bulb of garlic
drizzle of olive oil
450g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup tahini
juice of one small lemon
pinch cumin
pinch cayenne pepper

Place the pumpkin in a roasting tray and toss with the oil and seasoning. Chop the top of the garlic bulb off and place on a large square of foil. Drizzle a little olive oil over garlic and bring the foil up to make a little bag that is sealed at the top, enclosing the garlic. Place garlic in the same tray as the pumpkin. Roast in 200 C oven for 30 minutes. Remove garlic and cool a little. Roast the pumpkin an additional 15 minutes. When garlic is cool enough to handle, unwrap from foil and squeeze cloves out of the peel and discard peel.

Place pumpkin, garlic and remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend til smooth. Check seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Update: Sept 2011 made these with carrot instead of pumpkin - roasted carrot about about 200-220 C for about 1 hour until it was starting to blacken on the outside but soft inside - fantastic!

On the stereo:
A Secret History: the Best of the Divine Comedy – The Divine Comedy


  1. Ooh, yours sounds wonderful! Great idea to roast the pumpkin first. Now, since I am fixated on the difference between what you call pumpkin and what I call pumpkin, is there a certain kind of pumpkin you buy? I'm guessing it's what we'd call butternut squash or acorn squash--so what color and shape is it? Pumpkins over here are HUGE, entirely orange-skinned and with tough, non-sweet flesh inside. I think I'd like your version of hummus better than mine!

  2. That sounds first class! You even use the same amount of garlic I would ;o)

  3. Great idea to roast the pumpkin. I've been thinking of hummus a lot lately as the weather gets hotter. Such a perfect food for summer. I will certainly be making a version of pumpkin hummus too.

  4. Thanks Ricki - sorry about the confusion with pumpkins - I suggest you look at this post for pics of the pumpkins I use (Queensland Blue, Kent or Jap and Butternut) - - I think Kabocha or Butternut are the closest to the ones we use.

    Thanks Tanna - you can never have too much roasted garlic

    thanks Lisa - it is a perfect summer dip if you don't mind having the oven on for roasting - I prefer this to steaming or boiling because I find these make pumpkin a bit watery

  5. Been seeing quite a few flavorful and healthy hummus riffs lately. This looks just grand.
    Love that funky little lady in the sarong, too. :D

  6. This is the kind of lunch I love - and I think your dip knife is gorgeous. :-)

  7. Beautiful recipe. Bookmarked for autumn.

    I'm a huge crisp fan but it's plain salted for me everytime. Or salt and vinegar. Or cheese and onion. OK. I love 'em all.

  8. i love this. have you tried edamame (fresh soybeans in hummus? and guacamole? equally good.

  9. Interesting idea! I've got a surplus of pumpkin at the moment and this sounds like a great use for it!

    I seem to recall a lot of french onion dip when growing up. Which is why I don't have much of it now :)

  10. Looks amazing! Well worth the effort - wow!

  11. I bet roasting the pumpkin really made a difference to the flavour - sounds great. I love all the cute little props you use in your photographs - it makes the food look even more inviting!

  12. Thanks Susan - I love all the variations on hummus

    Thanks cindy - aren't these spreader knives cute

    thanks Wendy - the crisp flavours in the UK amazed me - I loved the worcestershire sauce and the cheese and onion ones - and I think we had vegemite and cheese here once

    thanks Bee - I love the idea of it but endamame aren't easy to find here (or I can't find them)

    Thanks Lorraine - I think I forget french onion dip because I am not really into the flavoured cream cheese dips.

    Thanks VeganCowGirl - it is more a matter of having time for roasting than much effort (unless you mean peeling and cutting pumpkin - I do it so much that it doesn't seem much effort)

    Thanks Lysy - the roasting definitely changed the flavour - I love using little props because - let's be honest - most dips look quite boring without a little accompaniment!

  13. Mmm I love dips. One might say I'm a dip addict. I think that's why I rarely make them - at least the unhealthy kind. This dip however looks amazing AND healthy! And I love that spoon/knife with the woman on it.

  14. i love this idea - am going to try it out as soon as i can. my little guy just loves pumpkin so i think it could be a good way to get extra veg into him as well. thanks for the great idea!

  15. Thanks Ashley - - this dip did feel very healthy - esp as it makes me want to eat more veg as dippers

    Thanks Frances - yes it is a good way to get more veg in the diet

  16. I've never tried pumpkin hummus, but it looks so palatable and healthy, Johanna!


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