Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip

Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip is a super simple vegan appetiser, rich in flavour and personality.

A bowl of Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip on a plate of crudites

This Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip came about in my current bid to cram more veggies into my everyday eating. I love vegetables and have never had a problem fitting them into breakfast, lunch and dinner until my time allotted to preparing my meals was suddenly halved on the arrival of Beau. Pasta Pesto Tuna was on rotation for dinner every other day at one point with nary a vegetable in sight. Vegetables require washing, peeling and chopping, none of which activities appeal at 8.30pm when the children have finally been settled and I have half an hour to make, eat and wash up dinner before crashing out at 9.

A bowl of Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip on a plate of crudites

I wrote on Instagram this week how I had a mini meltdown last week which led to no new posts on the blog. I may not have been able to achieve any concrete work due to extreme sleep deprivation and a string of recipe failures. But, what I did achieve was a week of mindful eating. I successfully cut out starchy carbs in the evening which I have found pull my energy and focused on getting as many veggies as I could into my day. It also turns out that not needing to prep carbs for an evening meal actually means dinner gets on the table, or my lap, a lot quicker too. Double win.

Now normally I’m not a big snacker but getting up several times during the night to tend to both children is making me so hungry during the day. So instead of ripping open another packet of oatcakes to scarf as I wait for the kettle to boil I am making sure to chop up a batch of carrot, cucumber and celery sticks at breakfast time to munch on during the day. If Cole assists with this little task then he can’t help but snag himself a fair number of the crudités there and then which has bonus points of getting vegetables in my picky pre-schooler too.

Butternut Squash and Red Peppers in a roasting dish

Now crudités are a pretty crappy snack on their own if I’m honest so I’ve been getting into my dips to make them a more exciting prospect. And since dips don’t live and die by houmous I’ve been branching out a little. I admit was quite proud of myself that my new favourite dip was based around yet more vegetables. I really feel like I’m top of the class at this whole veggie power movement. Not only that but Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip tastes amazing.

Butternut Squash and Red Peppers in a roasting dish

The butternut squash and red pepper are roasted together with peppery olive oil then whipped in the food processor with a splash of creamy almond milk. The added flavouring is kept simple because of the richness of the roasted vegetables with toasty warming cumin. I’m really loving cumin at the moment and like to add the whole roasted seeds in, some crushed, but mostly whole as I love the crunch.

A pestle and mortar filled with cumin seeds next to a plate of crudites

This Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip is sophisticated enough that you can serve it for a crowd. It also stands up quite well to sitting on a table for a length of time, houmous can go a little crusty and guac turns brown. This guy though is quite happy chilling on a table for an hour or two without being worse for wear. The dip is vegan so will get you on the good side of your vegan pals but is so good that your carnivore buddies will be scooping it up like there’s no tomorrow.

A bowl of Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip on a plate of crudites

And you know what, if you serve it on a plate with a pile of chicken fingers your pre-schooler might just take it upon himself to dip dip dip there too. This Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip is an absolute keeper, we’re really living the veggie dream in our house.

Print Recipe
Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip
Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip is a super simple vegan appetiser, rich in flavour and personality.
A bowl of Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip on a plate of crudites
Course appetiser
Cuisine British
Keyword dip, gluten-free, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 75 minutes
Servings
6-8 people
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil to serve
Course appetiser
Cuisine British
Keyword dip, gluten-free, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 75 minutes
Servings
6-8 people
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil to serve
A bowl of Cumin Whipped Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Dip on a plate of crudites
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Prepare your vegetables by peeling, de-seeding and cutting the butternut squash into half inch cubes. De-seed and stalk the red peppers and cut into one inch pieces.
  3. Pour the olive oil in a large roasting tray and toss in the butternut squash and red pepper with the salt.
  4. Roast the vegetables for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Checking every so often to give a stir.
  5. Remove the vegetables from the oven and leave to cool.
  6. Pour the butternut squash and the red pepper into a food processor, along with the excess olive oil and whip up with the almond milk until smooth.
  7. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry saucepan for thirty seconds then crush lightly in a pestle and mortar and add to the food processor. Pulse into the rest of the dip slightly just to disperse the spice.
  8. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and chill until needed.
  9. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few extra cumin seeds if you like.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin for this recipe. I have easily had it over ten years and I use it nearly every day for whipping up dips, pestos, nut butters, nut and oat flour and making my breadcrumbs. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

The links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links given then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Roasted Tomato Freezer Sauce

This deliciously rich sauce is perfect for freezing in small batches for emergency mid-week dinners.

Coriander Sweetcorn Fritters

Coriander Sweetcorn Fritters

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

I’ve rekindled my love of veggie burgers recently. And I’m not referring to the dry, floppy and brown discs of god-knows-what that lurk in the deepest depths of the supermarket only to emerge in June as an insulting offering to the vegetarians during BBQ season. Yuk, no. I’m talking about thick patties bright with fresh vegetables, perhaps creamy with legumes or nutty with wholegrains and crisp from the frying pan.

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

A few weeks ago I had a sandwich from Max’s Sandwich Shop, one of Stroud Green’s proudest offerings to the food scene. Max, as well as being a great bloke who gave me a celebratory bottle of wine when I popped in for lunch just after the birth of Cole, I think it may have been the first sip of wine I had in at least nine months and tasted blissful, also won The Observer Food Monthly’s Best Cheap Eat last year and indeed does an incredible sandwich. They are mammoth beasts packed to the rafters inside homemade focaccia like his Ham, Egg ‘N’ Chips, stuffed with slow cooked ham hock, a fried egg, shoestring fries, piccalilli, and malt vinegar mayo or my favourite What Is Neil Gill’s Beef All About which is braised beef, sauerkraut with beetroot parsley and caraway, cassava chips, horseradish and creme fraiche. Yum-ola.

Anyway, this time round I went totally off piste for me and plumped for his veggie sandwich. I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember what was in it except that it was made with borlotti beans and it’s not on the menu this week for me to check, but it was amazing, so flavourful and satisfying. It harkened me back to my first few years working in Soho when I would frequent Mildreds and stuff myself with their veggie burgers made with things like feta, beetroot and sweet potato. Or perhaps it took me even further back to my time in Ghana, in my early twenties, when I would live off veggie burgers from the local sports bar. I always vowed I would try and recreate those burgers in my own kitchen, they seemed so simple and healthy (if you ignore the obligatory side-order of chips), just good for you vegetables married together, but I never got round to it.

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

Until now! Although I might be overdoing it a little these days as variations on the veggie led burger seem to be all I’m ever cooking, due to… yes you guessed it since all paths lead back to him – Cole. I have been having such fun coming up with delicious, nutrient packed dinners which tick off all the food groups and that he can eat himself with his fingers. This means making him lots of mini patties, fritters and burgers. Not all of them are totally veggie since we’re not, but sweet potato and quinoa burgers have been a firm favourite, always packed with chopped greens or any other veg that’s lurking in the fridge. However, for variety’s sake I was on the lookout for some alternatives, and then Luke on a whim brought back some amaranth from our local organic shop on Stroud Green Road.

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

He had been totally unaware that I had been reading about amaranth a lot recently, basically how it’s super trendy and due for quinoa like celebratory status any day now. It’s another ‘ancient grain,’ popular with the Aztecs and Mayans, but put into italics as it’s technically a seed, like quinoa, and therefore really rich in protein which is what makes quinoa so cool. Not only that but it’s also full of fibre, iron and calcium. This all spelled good things for the next addition to mine and Cole’s culinary adventures.

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

Then I cooked with it, and quinoa it ain’t. Pre-cooking, the grains are miniscule, getting everywhere very fast, especially if you’re a bit fast and loose with pouring them into a saucepan. However, during its half hour cooking time the grains lump together producing a gelatinous and sticky…well, mush, if I’m honest. However, this only meant it had a completely natural home in the next addition to my veggie burger repertoire.

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

The texture of the amaranth is pretty terrific inside the burger, its little seeds popping in your mouth and the nutty flavour giving it such backbone. The amaranth is mixed with mashed butternut squash, pre-roasted with baharat spices (which include paprika, pepper, cumin, cassia, cloves, coriander seed, nutmeg and cardamom but I used a mix from Steenbergs) and sweetly roasted garlic. Then blanched and finely chopped cavolo nero adds its earthy goodness to the proceedings. Finally eggs and flour are mixed in to bind the whole thing together in scrumptious harmony. It’s a pretty good feeling eating something so deliciously healthy, heartening and happy-making.

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

Cole and I have been loving them. A lot. So much so that imbued with confidence in them I then served them up in homemade flatbread with salad and tzatziki for Luke for supper and he has insisted I share the recipe here so impressed was he. So here we are, baby approved, hungry husband approved and veggie burger obsessed me approved!

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

Amaranth, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Burgers

Makes 8 burgers

200g amaranth
1 butternut squash
2 tablespoons coconut oil + 1 more tablespoon for cooking the burgers
1 tablespoons baharat spice mix
4 whole unpeeled garlic cloves
200g cavolo nero
3 eggs
50g rice flour (or gluten-free plain flour blend or regular wheat flour)
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Toss the butternut squash with the baharat spices, garlic cloves and pre-melted coconut oil then roast for 35-40 minutes at 180°C. Remove from the oven, squeeze the garlic from their cloves then mash. Set aside to come to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of 500ml water to the boil, then pour in the amaranth. Bring back to a boil, then turn down to simmer with the lid on for 25-30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside to come to room temperature.
  3. With a sharp knife, remove the stalk out of the centre of the cavolo nero leaves then roughly chop. Bring another large saucepan of water to a boil and toss the leaves in, bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain the leaves, squeezing out all the excess water then finely chop.
  4. Mix the amaranth, mashed butternut squash and cavolo nero with the eggs, rice flour and salt until thoroughly combined.
  5. Heat a large flat bottomed frying pan with a tablespoon of the coconut oil. To achieve the perfect burger shape pour the mixture into chefs rings placed inside the saucepan. Fry for 4 minutes on the first side or until golden brown then carefully remove the chefs ring from the burger, flip each one over and cook for another 4 minutes on the other side, the burger will feel firm to the touch and be golden brown.Note: The chefs rings are totally optional, if you don’t have them the burgers will be a little flatter as the mixture will spread further and look a little rougher round the edges, but still delicious. They also won’t need to cook for as long, so keep watch for the golden brown colour.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Halloween Party Dips

Halloween Party Dips

I wonder sometimes if my body is made up of mostly houmous. I eat it by the bucketload and there is usually more than one variety in my fridge just so I have a choice between smooth or course. I count myself very lucky that I live in Haringey where Turkish food is prolific, although that certainly doesn’t help my addiction. I read recently in the Guardian that more than 40% of Britons have a pot of houmous in the fridge and it is now seen as a grocery staple. So that makes me feel much better that I am not alone in my affliction.

It was whilst I was stuffing my face with houmous last night that I considered whether there may be an alternative. Dinner parties at home, Christmas morning, late night board games are always accompanied by a pot of houmous and it’s not that I’m getting bored of it. Never!!! But perhaps those around me might. So, keeping in mind the bunches of parties coming up, I am challenging myself to have a houmous free existence for the next few months so I have had to come up with some different options. After all, dips are still a necessity, aren’t they?

Avocado HoumousSo, at the end of an afternoon filled with chopping, whizzing, spicing and tasting I actually think I have cracked it. These dips are not only much more attractive than the rather dour chickpea beige but they are also sublimely moreish which is exactly what you want when trying to polish off a bag of kettle chips. Although technically one of the recipes isn’t mine and belongs to the divine Silvena Rowe and don’t worry that one contains tahini, lemon juice and garlic so it’s practically houmous anyway.
Butternut Squash DipThe butternut squash dip is made by roasting the lovely orange flesh with lots of spice which makes it deliciously rich. The chorizo is by no means essential, you can quite happily make a veggie version and you won’t be missing out at all. Or you could pair the butternut squash with some lamb chops to make a wonderful accompaniment as part of a main meal.

I will usually devour dips indefinitely with a packet of Clearspring’s sticky rice crackers assisting me in the task which I think you can get in most supermarkets now. They are a slightly healthier alternative to those kettle chips.

Butternut Squash with Chorizo Dip

60ml olive oil
1 x butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Grated zest of ¼ orange
1 tbsp Fino or other dry sherry
Plenty of salt and pepper
2 x chorizo sausages, diced small

  1. In a large baking dish mix together all the ingredients, bar the chorizo, and place in an oven preheated to 180°C. Roast for 45mins – 1 hour, giving it a good turn over halfway through until the squash is soft. Remove from the oven.
  2. Pulse the butternut squash in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Place the chorizo in a small saucepan on a medium heat until it starts to crisp up.
  4. Serve the butternut squash dip with the chorizo piled on top.

Silvena Rowe’s Avocado and Sumac Whip

2 ripe avocados
Juice of 1 small lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp tahini
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sumac
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Scrape the avocados from their skins and blend in a food processor with the lemon juice until smooth.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until thick and smooth.
  3. Serve with the sesame seeds scattered on top.