Winter Squash & Tahini Spread

by Katherine Deumling of Cook With What You Have

I often roast winter squash to just have on hand. It’s easy to toss into salads or combine with beans or just top with any flavorful dressing.

This spread came about when I was very hungry and I had a bunch of roasted squash–one of my favorite varieties, Marina di Chioggia a dense flavorful squash–on hand. In just a few minutes I had prepared this gorgeous, creamy spread that is just as good eaten by the spoonful standing at the counter or spread onto bread or used as a dip with raw or cooked vegetables or dolloped on a soup.

Yields about 2 1/2 cups

  •  1/3 cup tahini

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, possibly more, to taste

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cold water

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted winter squash such as Butternut, Hubbard, Sweet Meat, Red Kuri, Marina di Chioggia, etc. (You want to use a dense, flavorful type. Things like Acorn or Delicata wouldn’t be as good here. )

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or other hot pepper either dried or fresh (optional but very good as the tahini and squash are both sweet and rich)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste

 Put the tahini, garlic, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times, and then start adding water a couple of tablespoons at a time as you process the mixture. As you add water, the mixture will get lighter in color and creamier. When it’s light and creamy but not at all runny, add the roasted squash, hot pepper and salt and process until smooth. If it’s too thick add a bit more water. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, lemon and/or hot pepper to taste. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. The garlic will get more pronounced as it sits.