Zingy Ginger Pumpkin Spread

img_0824This is not your typical pumpkin concoction.  It has that marvelous velvety pumpkin texture but other than that it’s totally unexpected.  It’s not sweet and homey.  It’s tangy, full of heat from fresh ginger and Aleppo pepper and it has a hint of earthiness from toasted cumin.  This pumpkin spread is racy.img_0786I created this pumpkin spread was for the Fall menu of the Eight Course Tasting Menu that I cook for the illuminati Ball.  The Illuminati ball is an exquisite and eccentric piece of immersive theater created by Cynthia Von Buhler.  We’ve just finished a successful nine month run. Whew! It will be back next year in the spring though.  So, if you are interested in attending (and eating my food) apply here.img_0793


  • a butternut squash or Kabocha pumpkin (it should weigh about 3 pounds whole)
  • 1/3 cup pitted, chopped medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey, date syrup or agave
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoons Allepo pepper (plus extra to garnish)
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil (plus extra for garnish)
  • Malone sea salt and good olive oil to garnish
  1. Heat the oven to 350.  Slice your pumpkin or butternut in half, stem to stem and scoop all the seeds out.  Place the halves, cut side down on an oiled baking sheet and bake until very soft (30 minutes to an hour).  Scoop out the baked flesh.  You should have about 4 cups.
  2. Place the dates, lemon juice, sweetener, lemon zest and ginger and in a blender or food processor and whir it up until the dates have broken down and the mixture is consistent.
  3. Add the cooked pumpkin, toasted cumin, Allepo pepper and sea salt and process until everything is combined.
  4. With the engine still running, gradually add the olive oil until the mixture is whipped and velvety.   Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with maldone salt and Allepo pepper to serve alongside Seed and Nut crackers Seed and Nut bread or baked chickpea pancakes.img_0797



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