Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Dip

I’ve been playing with variations of pumpkin dip that are savory enough to serve with pita chips, crackers and carrot sticks but also taste good with sliced apples and grapes.   The first version used a traditional sour cream and mayonnaise base and got some subtle sweetness from a home-made pear chutney.  It needed a bit more sophistication to make it to the grown-up table but is a fun way to include a kid-friendly food with the appetizers on Thanksgiving.  The next version added roasted red pepper and was, well, not good.  The last version used fewer ingredients and balanced simple sweet and spicy flavors with the fresh pumpkin taste.  This final recipe can be adjusted for sweeter palettes or fired up for those it like a little heat. It is not very heavy (no eggs or mayo) so won’t ruin any appetites but will keep any growling stomachs quiet before the main meal. 

Pumpkin Dip
Makes a little over 1 cup

Ingredients
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned fine)
1/3 cup cottage cheese
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons apricot fruit spread (or jam)
1 tablespoon sour cream
large pinch dried red pepper flakes (more to taste)

Method
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor or blender. The cottage cheese will whip up into a smooth and light dip base for the other ingredients.  If you do not have a small appliance to really whip it, substitute ricotta cheese.
  2. Pour into a small bowl.  Cover and chill until needed.  
  3. Serve with grapes, sliced apples, carrots, celery, crackers or chips.

Every recipe developer needs an audience.  I give thanks to my tasters who gamely sampled several dips and gave excellent comments and tasting notes.  Enjoy, and feedback welcome.