Cook the Book Fridays: Roasted Calabaza Hummus

Roast Calabaza Hummus
Roasted Calabaza Hummus

Hummus is a standby we take for granted. It’s ubiquitous at parties, office refrigerators, and a lifesaver when a snack attack hits at home.  It fills out sandwiches that need a little stretching.  And while it is nice in vehicles like pita chips and veggies, eating it straight from the spoon is almost as satisfying.  This week’s Everyday Dorie recipe for Cook the Book Fridays is Roasted Squash Hummus – a play on the traditional recipe that substitutes the chickpeas for roasted squash.

For the longest time I thought that what made hummus, well, hummus was pureed legumes.  Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea.  I figured as long as there was some tahini, canellini beans, black beans and even little green pigeon peas could we whipped into a dip and labeled hummus.  Dorie Greenspan extends what we can consider hummus with this squash based dip.  

Roast calabaza hummus
Roast calabaza hummus on sweet potato chip

For the roast squash hummus, Dorie suggests combining pureed roast butternut or acorn squash with half the amount in volume of tahini.  The flavors are deepened with tart pomegranate molasses, za’atar – a Middle Eastern herb blend – and finished with yogurt and lemon.  Instead of the suggested squashes I went for the local green skinned calabaza squash.  I couldn’t locate the elusive pomegranate molasses locally, so I substituted with an aged balsamic vinegar.  And my scatterbrained self managed to grab a red pear instead of a pomegranate in the supermarket bin using the ‘ooh, let’s grab the smallest one’ logic.  Both fruits were mixed up in the same bin and labeled as pomegranates.  Still, not my finest moment.  No red pear made it to the end product. 

I wasn’t crazy about this one… for one, the calabaza is much waterier than the acorn and butternut squashes.  My dip was very runny from the start.  The balsamic addition felt adequate but it didn’t have as much wow factor as the pomegranate molasses and seeds would have added. I followed the suggestion for a za’atar substitute of dried thyme and oregano together, which tasted fine but texturally didn’t work for me.  I should have chopped the thyme into smaller bits.  With a bit extra balsamic, the yogurt and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper we dove in with a bag of root veggie chips.  It was nice – and made me curious for the flavor of the intended recipe.

Cook the Book Fridays is a group of fearless cooks that are currently working their way through David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen and Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie.  If you want to read more about this week’s Roasted Squash Hummus adventures, click here.  

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

8 Responses to “Cook the Book Fridays: Roasted Calabaza Hummus”

  1. December 15, 2018 at 2:59 pm #

    The results of your hummus look interesting and I’m sorry you did not care for it. I thought it was too sweet but at least we know that hummus can be made with other vegetables rather than just beans.

  2. Richard Dietzel
    December 15, 2018 at 6:53 pm #

    When I couldn’t fing Pomegranate Molasses I reduced some POM juice, I just read a recipe for dessert hummus with punpkin and chickpea.

  3. December 16, 2018 at 2:24 pm #

    This was surprisingly good, and great way to use up extra squash too. Do give it another go when you have the right ingredients.

    I have done beetroot and walnut hummus before, which was interesting and vibrant!!

    I made a very small amount of tahini (and still have some leftover!) by way of a small food processor.

  4. December 16, 2018 at 6:28 pm #

    I could see myself eating the roasted squash hummus straight from the spoon. That’s a fun way to enjoy this spread and get the daily dose of vegetables at the same time.

  5. December 16, 2018 at 11:33 pm #

    What a fun twist with the ingredients you’ve used. Even with the recipe written as it is, this is just not for me. A little too sweet for my liking.

  6. December 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm #

    Well, it certainly looks good! I made it as intended and wasn’t the biggest fan, though I can see how you’d want to try it with the “regular” ingredients based on your results. I think I just prefer regular ol’ hummus, 🙂

  7. Cher
    December 18, 2018 at 1:25 pm #

    I saw that you used a Calabaza and I was intrigued – I am not familiar with that type of squash. The sweet potato chip is a really interesting pairing – I would think the squash would go really well with that.

  8. December 18, 2018 at 6:15 pm #

    I served this with pita chips, but root vegetable chips might have made this work better for me. I couldn’t get excited. I’ve never seen a calabaza squash either. Interesting…

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