Since it’s that time of year when squash is cheap and plentiful, I picked up a kabocha squash (a.k.a. Japanese pumpkin) and decided to make something with it for Thanksgiving dinner.
Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I don’t like pumpkin pie or any other vegetable-as-dessert type things, so I figured I’d make something savoury. Anything with cheese tends to be a winner, and with the stripe-y pumpkin-bowl the dip is baked in, you can gain bonus points for fancy-ass presentation.
This dip is easy to make, but takes a bit longer due to roasting a whole squash. I made it a day in advance, then just popped it into the oven to heat it until it was a bubbling cauldron of cheesy goodness.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 small pie pumpkin or kabocha (Japanese pumpkin)
- 1 brick (250g) cream cheese
- 1 cup parmesan or asiago cheese, grated
- 5 cloves garlic, roasted
- 1 tbsp butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup finely diced mushrooms
- 1/2 an onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp thyme or sage
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the top off the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and goopy stuff.
- Spritz inside of the pumpkin and its top with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place pumpkin and lid onto foil-covered baking sheet, cut side down.
- Roast for 20-45 minutes (depending on the size of the pumpkin) until tender.
- While pumpkin is roasting, saute mushrooms, onions and thyme in butter until golden brown.
- Scoop out approximately 1 cup’s worth of cooked pumpkin into a large mixing bowl.
- Cut cream cheese into chunks, microwave until softened (about 1 minute)
- Add cream cheese, mushroom/onion mix, roasted garlic, milk and parmesan to the mashed pumpkin, and stir together until well-combined. Add more milk if needed.
- Season with salt and pepper, and pour mixture into the hollowed-out pumpkin.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until bubbling, then broil on high for 5 minutes until browned.
- Serve with crackers or crusty bread.