I developed this warm wintertime party dip one day while cooking ahead for Thanksgiving dinner. Intending to make soup, I roasted squash, onion, and garlic drizzled with olive oil. I puréed the roasted vegetables, added some spices, a little crème fraîche, and took a taste. Dunking a crisp pita chip in the mixture, I found it made a great dip. So, here’s my tasty discovery, but for a terrific cold-weather soup, add about 6 cups of chicken stock, a cup of cream, and a bit more spice.
Makes about 2 cups
1 (1 3/4 to 2 pounds) butternut squash cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 very small yellow onion cut in half lengthwise, stem and root end trimmed
2 large cloves garlic skins left on
2 tablespoons pure olive oil
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
white pepper Freshly ground
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush the flesh of the squash, the onion, and the garlic generously with the olive oil and arrange cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Tuck a garlic clove in each cavity of the squash. Roast until very tender when pierced with a fork, about 50 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.
Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh of the squash and put it in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Discard the skins. Squeeze the garlic pulp from the cloves and add to the workbowl along with the onion. Purée until smooth. Add the crème fraîche, salt, nutmeg, cayenne, and a few grinds of pepper. Process to combine and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Dippables: Parmesan Breadsticks; Crostini; Pita Chips; Parmesan-Crusted Pita Chips; Roasted Garlic Bagel Chips; Vegetable Chips
Dip Do-Ahead: This dip can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm in a microwave or on the stove-top in a double-boiler just before serving.