28 August 2011

Libyan Spicy Pumpkin Dip ...Random Recipe

What do YOU see in that flatbread profile?

Having a hurricane come sweeping past your door forces a certain amount of hunkering down. In my case, the electrical power has remained intact (so far), the rains have been deluge-like, and the winds have been gusting. All morning long, I've watched the rain blow against the porch jalousie windows, creating drips that slide back and forth like so many abacus beads. I've also had the radio going nonstop, just because I like the background noise. I stay away fom the television because I'm really not a fan of all the drama. Cooking has kept me busy ... the kitchen is a warm and cozy spot for me to hang and watch the storm pass.

I started the morning with cookies ... another story, altogether. Then, I moved on to the tastiest vegetarian pumpkin dip. I made flatbread dough and baked up four flatbreads for scooping up said dip. I have a nice bottle of Sauvignon blanc to sip while I knosh my lunch. Mother Nature may bluster, but I WILL eat well!

Aside from the need to eat, all this cooking comes about because of a challenge from Dom at Belleau Kitchen. His Random Recipe posts have become a monthly tradition for me and this month is no exception. I have a lot of cookbooks in a few different locations around the house, so when Dom told us to randomly choose a cookbook, I had Silent Bob go grab the first one he touched on the study's cookbook shelf. Here's what he picked out ... Marlena Spieler's take on Jewish cuisine. Then, I asked him to open the book to any page and put a sticky note on the page. He closed the book and we left it on my desk until last week. I opened up to the recipe and thought ... there are no pumpkins in market or at farmer's markets yet. I had to substitute Hubbard squash for the pumpkins ... they're just beginning to show up in the produce bins. I bought a squash, sat it on my cook island and waited for the right time to work the recipe. Well, what better time?  I had to harvest a bowlful of cucumbers yesterday, as I readied for Hurricane Irene, and I have plenty of time to putter today!

An easy recipe in the extreme, this dip starts with pumpkin chunks, onion, garlic, and olive oil. A sauté followed by a slow steam gets everything caramelized and soft.

Add a small chopped and seeded tomato (mine is from my garden!), spices, spices, and more spices and then do a coarse mash. Add a small handful of chopped cilantro and some minced garlic. Stir it all together and allow it to cool to room temperature and there you have it! A chunky, spicy slather for bread or a scoop for cold cucumbers ... delicious and healthy. While the dip cooled, I formed and baked the flatbreads ... warm from the oven, they were perfect with the dip.  

I am really liking this veggie treat. It's got some heat because of the curry, ginger, and red pepper flakes. The flatbreads are pretty soft so they absorb some of the juices and the semolina and cornmeal give the bread a bit of texture that works well with the coarse texture of the squash purée. I'll definitely make this one again!

Hurray for pumpkin (errr ... squash!)  in something other than pie!

... Hubbard squash doing undercover as pumpkin

Libyan Spicy Pumpkin Dip
a recipe from Jewish Cooking - the traditions, techniques, ingredients, and recipes


3 - 4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely choped
5-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ lb. pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small cubes
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
scant ½ tsp. ground ginger
scant ½ tsp. curry powder
3 oz. chopped and seeded tomatoes ( you can use canned veg)
1 - 2 tbsp. tomato paste (I didn't use this)
½ to 1 small serrano pepper or a generous pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of sugar
juice of half a lemon
salt, to taste
2 tbsp, fresh cilantro (coriander) chopped

Making the Dish:

1. Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the onion and half the garlic. Sauté until softened. Add the chunks of pumpkin and continue the sautéfor a minute. Cover the pan, lower the heat and steam until the pumpkin is almost tender.

2. Add the spices, tomatoes, paste, sugar, and salt. Cover and finish cooking the pumpkin.

3. Mash the softened veg to a coarse mash and add the other half garlic, and cilantro. Correct the salt and sugar seasonings. Add the lemon juice and toss to combine.

4. Turn into a pretty bowl and serve with cold cucumber spears and a bread of some sort - flatbreads are perfect for tearing and slatheringwith the dip.

PS --- Don't forget to comment on the '100 follower post' from August 26th for your chance at chocolate heaven ... go take a look see!  I'd hate for you to lose out on a bit of a gamble with a sweet payoff.


  1. Not even Irene could keep you from the kitchen:D

  2. Okay - I sat and looked at the flatbread picture for ages and really didn't see anything. i think this means I lack imagination. :-(
    However, the flatbread looks so yum and the squash dip sounds great to go with it. Lovely.

  3. I love the sound of your pumpkin dip! Very unique and exotic. The flatbreads look good too. Glad you didn't lose electric!

  4. I honestly thought I knew of every pumpkin recipe out there, but apparently not! This looks delicious! I am so making it as soon as pumpkins come into season!

  5. is it a lion?.... genius Random Recipe... I was just about to post the round up when I thought... 'hang-on' where's Susan's entry?'... and a quick scuffle later, here it is!... I love it, very me!... as always, thanks so much for taking part x

  6. @ Dom - Genius, Dom! That's what I thought when I pulled that last piece off and dobbed it up with dip ... looks to me like that lion is either roaring or lunging for a bite ... glad you came looking! My email to you gets spit back ... hmm have tried a few times, perhaps I need to just 'reply' to an old message from you ...

  7. That sounds fantastic! I'm pretty sure if I had some of that flat bread in front of me, the whole bowl of dip would be gone in no time flat.


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