WINTER SQUASH DIP

Roasted butternut squash combined with garlic, scallions, smoky chipotle chiles, cream cheese, sour cream and Parmesan. Its been a hit ever since I laid eyes on this recipe in the fall of 2007! It is a definite crowd pleaser and I guarantee you will always get asked for the recipe. I just brought this to a  birthday wine tasting this past weekend and my friend Peter ordered one to be picked up the Wednesday night before thanksgiving! It’s great to make ahead and serve with a holiday cocktail, wine, or prosecco when your guests first arrive. For a festive presentation, serve this appetizer in a large, round, hollowed-out squash, such as a turban. Enjoy this recipe for Thanksgiving or any of your winter festivities!

Makes 6 cups


Ingredients

·  1 winter squash (about 2 pounds), such as butternut or turban, unpeeled, seeded, and cut into 3-inch pieces
·  Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
·  Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
·  2 heads garlic, tops cut off to expose cloves
·  1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
·  8 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, sliced 1 inch thick
·  2 chipotle chiles (canned in adobo sauce)
·  2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
·  8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
·  1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
·  4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
·  Paprika, for sprinkling
·  Roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish
·  Breadsticks, for dipping

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Spread squash in a single layer. Place garlic on a piece of parchment-lined foil. Drizzle with oil, and wrap loosely. Place on baking sheet with squash. Bake until squash is soft and golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add scallions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.

Scoop flesh from squash, and transfer to a food processor. Squeeze garlic from skins, and add to squash. Add scallions and chipotles, and pulse until smooth. Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, the sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, and lemon juice, and pulse until just combined but not smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour into a hollowed-out squash or a serving bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Sprinkle with paprika, and garnish with pepitas. Serve with breadsticks.

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