Spicy Pumpkin Dip

Spicy Pumpkin Dip

One process that cooks use to come up with new and exciting ideas is to take a familiar form and substitute a different set of ingredients. This dish illustrates that process. What I'm doing here is taking the Middle Eastern eggplant dip babaganoush as a model, exchanging pumpkin for eggplant as the central ingredient, then adding chile peppers and lime to complement the pumpkin flavor. Makes about 2 pints.

6 cups pumpkin flesh, cleaned, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
6 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh red or green chile pepper of your choice
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. Bring a stockpot of water to a rolling boil, add the pumpkin, and cook until they are easily pierced by a fork but still offer some resistance, 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toast the caraway seeds in a small saute pan over medium heat, watching carefully and shaking frequently to prevent burning, until they just begin to release a little smoke, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Drain pumpkin, allow to cool to room temperature, combine with caraway seeds and remaining ingredients, and purée in a food processor or blender.

From: Big Flavors of the Hot Sun by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
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