Kauai’s Harmonious Roots Vegetarian Vegan Persian Inspired Butternut Squash Dip!
If you think the title of this blog post title is a mouthful just wait until you try this dish! It’s a mouthful in the most flavorful way. This recipe comes from a talented young gal we met on our summer trip to Kauai. I had learned of a Friday Night Art Walk in Hanapepe from a local.
The Hanapepe Friday Night Art Walk turned out to be just the thing for our group. Bobby and I dropped our crew off out of the van, parked, and look at the scene I walked right up to!
Kauai rainbows are so magical!
The Art Walk was so cute. It was more about food than art as we found out which suited us just fine 🙂
Once I caught my breath after that fun rainbow I walked straight into a Healthy Persian and Vegan food stand! WHAT?!?!? Our family has a standing joke that all Kauai needs is Persian food… and there it was!
The owner, creator, chef of this little catering business (Harmonious Roots) is a lovely lady named Kimya. She was sweet and told us a bit about her journey – that like us she had Iranian roots. Kimya moved from southern California to Kauai. Currently Kimya teaches cooking classes, does catering events, and serves delightfully delicious, healthy, Persian-inspired food at special events (like the Hanapepe Art Nights). Kimya’s dishes are uniquely made using produce grown on the island and Persian flavors adjusted to be vegetarian and vegan.
I purchased a couple of Harmonious Roots sampler dishes to share with our group. The one I loved the most was a crunchy squash dip. I asked Kimya what was in it and she readily shared the ingredients. The crunch in the squash dip was not shallots as I had guessed but macadamia nuts of course. Everything we tried was deelish!
Once I got settled back home Kimya and I became connected through Instagram. I had a few more questions about how she makes her magical yellow dish. She encouraged me to just make and it and to ‘make it my own’. So I did. And it was hella good.
That’s the story! Here’s what’s in Kauai’s Harmonious Roots Vegetarian Vegan Persian Inspired Butternut Squash Dip! Since this recipe came from a fun night we had fun with a squash photo shoot back home to represent it…
Starting with a fresh butternut squash –
Next came the issue of how to cook it. I found a fun Youtube video tutorial with not just one but 4 ways to cook butternut squash!
I encourage you to watch Alyssia of Mind Over Munch, she’s cute and makes it super simple – very helpful!
I went with baking our butternut squash whole – method #1.
If for some reason you can’t view the video above let me quickly tell you what to do. Line a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400. Bake for one hour. Let squash cool. Cut in half vertically. Remove seeds. Scoop out cooked innards for recipe! It’s that simple!
Next pick up some tahini.
If you make home made hummus you may already have some in the pantry. We did not and it proved a bit of a challenge for me to find, even in our diverse community. If you’re not familiar with tahini, it’s just ground sesame butter. In a pinch you can substitute it with a touch of peanut butter.
Grab some macadamia nuts –
You don’t have to be in Hawaii to find macadamia nuts these days – most markets will have them with other nuts.
Grill chopped one chopped onion until they start to look clear – these ones have a few minutes to go:
Chop the nuts – I had a little help from Ava and her pretty manicure 🙂
Blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix in nuts last so there will be a crunch. Transfer to a heat safe serving dish. Warm in the oven and serve with bread.
- 1 large butternut squash, baked and scooped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- dash of garlic powder
- Choose a method for cooking the butternut squash (see Youtube video included in this recipe post) - I went with method 1, baking the squash whole, slicing in half, and scooping out cooked squash
- Grill onions in a bit of olive oil until clear (about 5 minutes on medium low heat)
- Coarsely chop the nuts
- Combine all ingredients including cooked squash and spices in food processor or blender
- Blend until well combined
- Transfer to an oven safe dish
- Warm in 300 degree oven about 10 minutes
- Serve with whole wheat pita or naan
Serving suggestions –
Serve this butternut squash dip as a side dish with some whole wheat pita bread. It is also good with alongside some Persian Cucumber Yogurt Dip (mast-o-khiar). This dip also serves well as an appetizer with some healthy crackers like whole wheat Ak Mak crackers. I prefer it room temperature similar to how you would serve a hummus dip.
If you like squash you are going to love this dish! The spices are mild, just enough to make it interesting. If you make it leave us a comment and let us know what you think!