It’s mid-October as I’m writing this and it finally feels like fall in Colorado. The leaves are changing, the air is brisk, and I’ve dusted off all my fall-scented candles. The other day I spotted an assortment of pumpkins at my local King Sooper’s and, on a whim, brought home a few sugar pie pumpkins.
You can buy pumpkin purée in a can easily enough, but lately I’ve felt inspired to make as many things from scratch as possible. I seem to slip into this mood around this time every year — I just want to make things. Homemade bread, fermented veggies, cultured nut-based cheeses, etc. So I decided to roast pumpkins and prepare my own fresh pumpkin purée to use in a variety of dishes.
Here’s what’s on the docket: pumpkin chocolate chip muffins; pumpkin gnocchi or ravioli (I haven’t decided yet); fettuccine with pumpkin alfredo; pumpkin red coconut curry. When I think pumpkin, I don’t default to pumpkin spice desserts and pastries (though I partake in my fair share of those too). My first thought is always: warm, cozy, savory. I want everything I make in the fall to feel like a big hug.
I’ll share many of those recipes on the blog over the next few weeks, but in the meantime here’s a simple, delicious way to use pumpkin purée. It’s the perfect autumnal twist on classic hummus. I topped it with fresh pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds for a pop of color and sweetness and a slight crunch. I made homemade Rosemary Flatbread Crackers to dip in this hummus as well. I’m a fan of the rosemary-pumpkin pairing, so meander on over to that recipe if you feel so called. 🤗
How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée
It’s simple! Cut a pie pumpkin in half from the stem to the base (you’ll want to use a good sharp knife for this to pierce the skin). Scoop out the seeds and pumpkin guts (but save the seeds to season and roast!), and brush the cut sides with a little bit of oil.
Set your pumpkin halves cut sides down on a lined baking tray. Prick the skin all over to vent the steam as the pumpkin cooks. Then bake for 45 minutes to an hour (this’ll depend on how large your pie pumpkins are). You’ll know they’re ready when they’re tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.
Let them rest on the counter until they’re cool enough to handle. Then scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor and process until completely smooth.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Garlic Hummus
- Olive oil, garlic, & chili flakes – We start out by sautéing garlic in olive oil until it’s tender and fragrant. If you like a little kick, bloom some red pepper flakes in the olive oil before adding the garlic. I considered roasting a whole head of garlic to use in this recipe, but I’ll admit laziness got the better of me. 😂 If you have the time and patience for it, I think roasted garlic would make this hummus taste even more delicious than it already does.
- Chickpeas – Canned chickpeas will work in this recipe, of course, but I love to cook my own from dry. It doesn’t take long at all if you have an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker, and it gives you the ability to cook them till they’re extra soft. This produces a super smooth, almost fluffy texture that I love.
- Lemon juice & tahini – Two staple ingredients for any hummus recipe. Fresh lemon juice brightens up the flavor of the hummus, and tahini contributes extra creaminess and a delicious nutty flavor (I know it’s a seed and not a nut, but I still stand by this descriptor). At my local Kroger store, I find tahini shelved with the other nut and seeds butters, and honey.
- Pumpkin purée – Use homemade or canned. If using canned, just make sure you pick up the plain unflavored pumpkin purée rather than pumpkin pie filling! You can add more purée if you’d like a more robust pumpkin flavor.
- Salt & pepper – To preference!
Pumpkin Garlic Hummus
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4-6 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas 15 oz can
- 2/3 cup pumpkin purée not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- juice of 1 lemon about 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- fresh pomegranate seeds
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- extra virgin olive oil
- smoked paprika
- In a skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic in olive oil. Add the red pepper flakes if you like spicy hummus. Cook until the garlic is tender and fragrant, but don't let it brown or crisp up. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you measure the other ingredients.
- To the bowl of a food processor, add chickpeas, pumpkin purée, tahini, lemon juice, and salt. Add in the garlic and olive oil. Process until as smooth as possible, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed to incorporate all ingredients.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper to preference. Add more lemon juice if needed to brighten up the flavors.
- I love to serve this with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of smoked paprika sprinkled on top. You can also top it with fresh pomegranate seeds for a bit of sweetness, and pumpkin seeds for a slight crunch.