Dips are one of my favourite things to make, it’s so easy to make a different variation every time, depending on what you have available. I also like the challenge of making them super healthy but equally as delicious as a naughty, creamy, oily, cheesy dip you might buy from the supermarket. So many of the so called ‘healthy’ dips you can buy, like hummus and babaganoush can have very high levels of oil in them. When I make dips, sauces and pestos at home I try to use water and vinegar where possible and usually it turns out just as delicious. Sometimes just a drizzle of oil on top of the finished product is all you need.
The kabocha squash I used in this dip is a type of asian squash that is abundant in the markets here at the moment, but you could use any type of pumpkin you like, butternut would work well. You could also use green apple or a firm green pear in place of the nashi pear.
1kg kabocha squash, cut into wedges, skin left on, seeds removed
1/4 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
1 tbs sesame oil
1 whole bulb garlic, cloves separated
150ml coconut cream
1/4 cup tahini paste or cashew butter
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp curry powder
2 large leaves of kale stem removed, finely shredded
1/2 nashi pear, julienned
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
handful of fresh herbs such as lemon basil, mint and coriander
1 tsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 a small lime
handful of roasted cashews
Brown rice crackers, to serve
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place the squash in an even layer on the tray, along with the garlic and drizzle with half of the coconut syrup, sesame oil and sprinkle with salt.
Roast in the oven for about 45mins or until very tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Scoop the flesh from the squash into a food processor (reserve the skins for a roast vegetable salad or just to snack on, they are delicious). Squeeze the garlic from the skins and add to the pumpkin along with the rest of the coconut syrup, coconut cream, tahini, lemon juice and curry powder. Process until combined and smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Spoon out into a wide, shallow bowl.
In another bowl add the kale, nashi pear, chilli, herbs, olive oil, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Use your hands to combine and slightly massage the kale to soften it.
Spoon on top of the dip and sprinkle with the cashews.
Serve with brown rice crackers or scoops of choice!