Pesto and roasted butternut squash dip

raostingButternutSquash.jpgThis delicious, easy-to-make dip is rather more than meets the eye. Although it’s amazing with crudites, bread sticks or crackers –  such as the cider and olive oil cracker recipe I created to go with it – as you’d expect, it can be transformed in to a lot more besides.

The dip can also be used as a pasta filling such as for ravioli, as the basis for a pumpkin risotto, and alternative to tomato sauce on a pizza base and, when thinned with a vegetable stock, turned into an amazing veggie soup (or go carnivore by adding chicken stock instead).

Notes

In the instructions I’ve detailed preparing the squash by cutting it into eight wedges lengthways, having first de-seeded it, and layering these skin side down in a dish (as in the image above). You can also roast the squash by taking the skin off first, then cutting it into large chunks.

10 minutes to prepare, 40 minutes (hands off) cooking time.

This recipe has been kindly featured on the Filippo Berio recipe page.

Equipment

  • A large roasting tin or casserole
  • A blender, food processor or stick blender (or a mooli/potato ricer)
  • Large sharp and heavy knife for the squash

Ingredients

  • One butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced into large chunks * see notes above about whether to roast with skin on or not
  • Red (tomato) pesto – 3 tablespoons
  • Olive oil: a good quality olive oil but not extra virgin – 3 tablespoons
  • Rock salt – two tablespoons (or fine salt 1 ½ teaspoons)
  • Garlic cloves, peeled – 4 – 6  (depending on how much you like garlic)
  • Paprika – 1 teaspoon
  • Dried chilli flakes – 1 tablespoon
  • Water – around 70ml (you may need to add a touch more if the butternut squash was particularly large)
  • Additional extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Method

  1. Turn your oven on to 170 ºC / 190 ºC conventional
  2. Use 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to coat the bottom of your roasting dish
  3. Prepare the squash by halving, removing all the seeds and chopping each half lengthways into four so you have eight wedges in total (see the top image). There is an alternative method for taking the skin off first, whish is outlined in the notes above
  4. Place the squash on the oiled roasting dish and coat with the pesto
  5. Crush the peeled garlic cloves slightly and scatter over the squash, together with the salt, paprika and chilli flakes and finally drizzle over the rest of the olive oil
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the squash is soft and yeilds all the way through when you press it with a fork
  7. If you did leave the skin on the squash, remove it now and discard
  8. Place the roasted squash, all the spices, the roasted garlic and all the oil left in the bottom of the roasting dish into your blender or food processer
  9. Add the additional water and whizz until smooth
  10. (If you are using a stick blender you will need to transfer the ingredients into another taller container before adding the water and blending. Alternatively, pass it all through a potato ricer or mooli, then combine the water by mixing it in)
  11. Leave to cool and then serve in a bowl, drizzling the top with extra virgin olive oil and scattering over a few toasted pine nuts if desired

dip4

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