There are few fresh flavors that encompass the harvest season, and pumpkin is at the top of that list. Any dish involving pumpkin brings a warm, earthy aroma to our households – and makes us feel just a bit more accepting of the approaching cold weather.
Plus, if your family is anything like the ones here in Wisconsin, football quickly becomes the center of any Thanksgiving celebration. If there is any staple of game day feasts its your favorite dip recipes. This savory, fall-inspired Roasted Pumpkin Dip is the perfect way to embrace the warm flavors of fall while cheering on your favorite team and spending time with family.
On a time crunch? Using store-bought pumpkin puree will get you a similar result as roasted pumpkin in half the time. Roasting pumpkin adds deep rich flavor that is hard to replicate but it is possible to lightly roast frozen or canned pumpkin puree by spreading it into a one-inch layer in a baking dish and roasting at 325°F until just lightly brown.
Not looking to take a short cut? Remember these tips before roasting your own pumpkin: remove seeds, brush on olive oil and sprinkle salt prior to baking. After baking, wait for the pumpkin to cool before scooping out the pumpkin flesh to mash.
Servings: Makes 4-5 cups
2 cups roasted pumpkin or store-bought pumpkin puree* (recipe below)
2 cloves garlic, grated or very finely minced
3/4 cup (6 ounces) Wisconsin ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin fontina cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, preferably white
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin parmesan cheese, grated and divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For Roasted Pumpkin: (makes 2 cups)
1 small pie pumpkin (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds) or fleshy squash such as butternut
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Heat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, combine cooled pumpkin puree with remaining ingredients (reserving half the parmesan). Mix well to combine.
Scrape dip into 2-quart oven-proof dish and top with remaining parmesan. Cover with lid or foil and bake about 20 minutes. Remove lid or cover and bake 10 additional minutes, until the dip is bubbling and the edges are just starting to brown. Serve warm with crackers, crostini or toasted bread slices.
*Roasting pumpkin adds deep rich flavor that is hard to replicate but it is possible to lightly roast frozen or even canned pumpkin/squash puree by spreading it into a one-inch layer in a baking dish and roasting at 325°F until just lightly brown. The dip can also be made with unroasted frozen squash or pumpkin puree.
For roasted pumpkin:
Heat oven to 350°F. Cut pumpkin/squash in half; remove seeds. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place flesh side down on baking sheet. Roast 25 to 35 minutes, or until flesh is very soft. Remove from oven and cool; scoop out flesh from skin and cool completely before mashing or pureeing.