Butternut Squash Hummus

Home-made Butternut Squash Hummus recipe

If you like traditional hummus, Butternut Squash Hummus takes things to the next level! This healthy recipe combines the sweetness and nutritional goodness of butternut squash with the traditional hummus ingredients of chickpeas, tahini and olive oil. The squash also gives the hummus a fantastic, rich yellow colour!

Hummus has become increasingly popular as a snack or lunch-box staple in recent years. If you have only ever eaten ready-made hummus, it is time to try making your own. It is very easy to make, tastes great and you know what is in it – no additives here.

I used Butternut Squash Hummus as a dip or a filling for sandwiches or flatbread. You can add chopped herbs, such as parsley or coriander, if you like. I also sometimes sprinkle dukkah on the top.

Dukkah is a crunchy Middle Eastern mixture of nuts, generally hazelnuts, and seeds such as sesame, coriander and cumin. Ready-made dukkah can be purchased in many supermarkets. You can also make your own – there is a good recipe on All Recipes.

If, like me, you love Butternut Squash, there are lots of other ways you can use it in addition to Butternut Squash Hummus such as Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Soup, Butternut Squash Tart with Chilli and Sage or Filo Triangles with Butternut Squash and Pinenuts.

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Butternut Squash Hummus

Butternut Squash Hummus

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 as a starter 1x
  • Category: Starter
  • Cuisine: British

Description

This home-made Butternut Squash Hummus combines the rich sweetness of butternut squash with the traditional flavours of chickpea and tahini.   


Scale

Ingredients

  • Half a butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 can of chickpeas (240 g drained weight) 
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and dice the butternut squash.  
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the diced squash, season with salt and pepper and cook gently for  20 minutes until soft and caramelised.
  3. Add the crushed cloves of garlic to the pan and cook of a further five minutes.
  4. Place the butternut squash and garlic mixture in a blender.  Add the chickpeas (retaining a few for decoration, if wished), tahini, lemon juice and Greek yogurt, if using, and process until smoothe.  If the mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon of water to thin it out.
  5. Remove from the blender to a bowl and  season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve topped with reserved chickpeas.  

Notes

This recipe is vegan if the Greek yogurt is omitted.

Keywords: hummus, butternut squash

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Blood Orange Cake

Easy, zesty Blood Orange Cake

This Blood Orange Cake makes the most of the unique flavour of Blood Oranges. These oranges are only in season for a short time but they brighten up the dull winter months of January and February. They are the most flamboyant citrus fruit, with skin coloured purple and orange like an Athena poster sunset and a deep red flesh. Even their pink juice is pretty!

There are a number of different varieties of Blood Orange but, in general, they have a stronger and sharper taste than ordinary oranges which makes them a fantastic flavouring in cakes and puddings. This Blood Orange cake is a twist on a traditional Lemon Drizzle Cake and makes the most of the fruit’s intense, orange sharpness. I have decorated my cake with dark red Candied Blood Orange Slices which add an intense marmalade flavour.

Due to their pigments, Blood Oranges also contain greater amounts of anti-oxidants than other oranges. I think that they are best used in dishes where they can add colour as well as flavour. Traditionally, they are used in winter salads in Sicily, combined with fennel, and also to make ruby coloured orange sorbet. Blood Orange juice is also a great addition to cocktails giving them a pretty pink colour combined with a citrus kick of flavour.

I sometimes make Candied Blood Orange Slices to decorate the top of this cake. They are easy to make, look attractive and the left-over syrup is great in cocktails!

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Blood orange cake

Blood Orange Cake

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf cake 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Blood Orange Cake is very simple to make and uses seasonal Blood Oranges which have an intense flavour and beautiful purple and orange colour.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 125 g butter
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 blood orange
  • 100 g icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.

  2. Grease a 450 g loaf tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.

  3. Cream the butter with the sugar.  (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)

  4. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.

  5. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.

  6. Add the milk and the grated zest of your blood orange.

  7. Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared loaf tin.

  8. Put the tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.

  9. While the cake is baking, combine the juice from your blood orange with 100 g of icing sugar to form a thick syrup.

  10. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour the syrup over the top.

  11. Leave the cake in the tin to cool completely before removing.   If you try and take it out while it is still warm it may fall apart as it will be very moist due to the syrup.

  12. You can just leave it there – and I usually do!  However, if you want to decorate the cake further, you can add some Candied Blood Orange Slices.


Notes

Blood Oranges are in season in January and February.  If you cannot find any in the shops, you can use ordinary oranges.

Keywords: blood orange, cake,

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Candied Blood Orange Slices

Easy, seasonal Candied Blood Orange Slices

These Candied Blood Orange Slices are a great way of decorating cakes, such as Blood Orange Cake, and puddings.  They look attractive –  I love the fresh citrus colours –  and also taste good and are very easy to make.

You can make these slices with all types of citrus fruits, such as lemon and limes, grapefruits or little kumquats, in addition to oranges.

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Candied Blood Orange Slices

Candied Blood Orange Slices

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 810 slices 1x
  • Category: Decoration
  • Cuisine: English

Description

These Blood Orange Slices are a really easy way to decorate all kinds of cakes and puddings.  


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 blood orange
  • 125 ml water
  • 75 g caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice your blood orange.
  2. Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan.  Heat gently until the sugar dissolves.  Then increase the heat and bring the mixture up to boiling point.
  3. Put the blood orange slices into the sugar syrup and cook gently for 5 minutes until they are soft and translucent. 
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat.  Leave the blood orange slices in the sugar syrup and allow to cool.
  5. When cool, remove the blood orange slices from the syrup and use to decorate cakes or desserts.
  6. Don’t throw away the syrup!  It will be a beautiful pink colour and strong orange flavour and is fantastic in cocktails or soft drinks.

 

 


Notes

If blood oranges are not in season.  This recipe can be used for ordinary oranges.  

Keywords: blood orange,

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Smoked Salmon Pate

Easy, home-made Smoked Salmon Pate

This easy Smoked Salmon Pate recipe tastes so much nicer than the ready-made, shop-bought equivalent. It combines the delicious flavour of smoked salmon with one of its traditional partners, cream cheese (think bagels and lox). The addition of lemon juice is crucial as this cuts through the richness of the salmon and the cheese.

If you buy slices of smoked salmon, it can get expensive. However, smoked salmon trimmings, which are available in many supermarkets, are perfect for this recipe. They have all the flavour of sliced smoked salmon but are much cheaper and, as an added benefit for this recipe, already in small pieces!

Smoked Salmon Pate is very quick and easy to make – you just process the ingredients in a blender and it is done! You can blend it as much as you like but I prefer not to make it absolutely smooth as I like to find a few pieces of smoked salmon when I spread out my pate.

In my opinion, anything involving smoked salmon smacks of luxury. And this pate also looks pretty with its pale pink colour. This makes it perfect for a celebration or romantic meal. Who’s to know it is so easy to make?

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Smoked Salmon Pate Fish Pate

Smoked Salmon Pate

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x
  • Category: Starter
  • Cuisine: British

Description

This home-made Smoked Salmon Pate takes a  matter of minutes to make and tastes so good that you will never want to use the ready-made variety again!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 180 g cream cheese (such as Philadelphia, either full-fat or reduced fat)
  • 100 g smoked salmon trimmings
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of double cream (optional)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs, such as dill or chives,  to decorate  (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put the cream cheese, smoked salmon trimmings, lemon juice and double cream (if using) into a blender and process until smooth.   
  2. Add pepper to taste.  You don’t need any salt as the smoked salmon is salty.
  3. Put the pate in a bowl and decorate with fresh herbs if you wish.  Dill or chives will go very well with the flavour of the pate.

Notes

You can choose to make a higher fat version of this pate by adding double cream and using full-fat cream cheese or make a lower fat version by omitting the double cream and using reduced fat cream cheese.

Keywords: smoked salmon, pate

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Spiced Carrots with Honey and Lemon

A brilliantly easy and versatile recipe that can be made into a side, a salad, a dip or a sandwich filling!

Spiced Carrots with Honey and Lemon. Just the description makes my mouth water. The carrots are slow-roasted in the oven to bring out their earthy sweetness. Then they are tossed with warm Middle Eastern spices – cumin, cinnamon, paprika and cumin – and tossed in a garlic, lemon and honey dressing. The result is a flavour sensation – spicy, zesty and sweet.

And even better, these Spiced Carrots can be finished to make one of three different types of dish – a side-dish, a salad or a dip – all with the same punch of flavour. If you serve the carrots warm, they make a great side-dish to accompany a meat, fish or vegetarian main course. If you allow them to cool to room temperature, they make a fantastic salad. Finally, you can blend the carrots to make a dip which can be served with crusty bread or used as a sandwich filling.

I will often make a big batch of this recipe and use it as either a side-dish or salad for our family supper. The remainder is then blended into a dip which is used for working-at-home lunches or used as a sandwich filling for school lunch boxes.

This recipe is based on the Moroccan Spiced Carrot Dip from the wonderful Riverford Organic Farm. I use a bit more honey and ground ginger rather than fresh but the zingy flavours are all theirs! The recipe section of their website provides lots of inspiration about creative ways to use their fantastic, organic vegetables.

If you are in the mood for a zesty, flavourful winter salad, we have lots more at Tastebotanical. What about Thai Cucumber Salad, Aubergine with Soy and Honey, Roasted Pepper Salad or Roasted Beetroot with Yogurt and Tahini?

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Roasted Carrot Salad with Honey and Lemon

Spiced Carrots with Honey and Lemon

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 46 as a side dish 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Description

A brilliantly easy and versatile recipe which combines slow-roasted carrots with warm Middle Eastern spices and a garlic, lemon and honey dressing.  It can be made into a side-dish, a salad, a dip or a sandwich filling!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 800 g fresh carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • Juice of one lemon

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 200 C/Gas Mark 6
  2. Peel the carrots and chop into disks about 3 mm thick.    
  3. Put the carrot disks onto a baking tray.  Add the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake the carrot disks in the oven for around 30 minutes until they are soft and slightly brown at the edges.
  5. Remove the carrot disks from the oven and roughly mash using a fork.   
  6. In a large bowl, mix together the cumin, cinnamon, paprika, ginger, crushed garlic clove, honey and lemon juice.
  7. Add the roughly mashed carrots to the bowl and stir to combine.

Notes

This is a very versatile recipe.  It can be served warm as a side dish.  It can be served at room temperature as a salad.  Or you can put it in the blender and create a dip or a sandwich filling!

Keywords: carrots, spices, salad

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