Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Dukka
Serves 4-5 as an appetizer
Delicious nutty dukka (Egyptian toasted and nut dip) wakes up roasted, gently seasoned squash for one of my favorite appetizers to serve with warm pita, especially as an exciting alternative to hummus.
A small pumpkin works best, or use a large acorn or smallish butternut squash. Or really any favorite winter squash works great, or try the variation made with smashed steamed carrots.
2 cups roasted mashed pumpkin or other winter squash (about 3 pounds fresh squash)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced preserved lemon or 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons freshly made Smoky Hazelnut Dukka
Olive oil for drizzling, about 2 teaspoons
Pita bread warmed in the oven or thin slices of jicama for scooping
1. Slice the pumpkin or squash in half, scoop out and discard the seeds and wrap each cut end tightly with foil. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast the squash at 400 until tender and the skin is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and let the squash cool enough to handle, then scoop out the flesh into a bowl; you should have about 2 cups of roasted squash. If the roasted squash seems very watery, spread the roasted squash into a large mesh sieve and fit onto the top of a bowl. Let the squash drain for about 30 minutes and discard the liquid.
2. Place the drained squash in a mixing bowl and add lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil, preserved lemon, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and use a fork to mash everything together. Spread the squash in an attractive swirl into a wide, shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle with dukka and drizzle on olive oil. Serve immediately with wedges of warm pita bread or thin slices of jicama. You can roast the squash a day in advance, but for best results gently warm the squash, tightly wrapped in foil the oven, before mashing and seasoning.
Substitute 1 pound of carrots for the squash. Peel, cut into small chunks and steam in a tightly covered saucepan filled with 3 inches of water until very tender. Drain, cool and roughly mash with a fork and season as directed above.