Squash Dip with Autumn Crudités – otherwise known as what you should probably serve at Thanksgiving.
Appetizers are one of the quickest ways to ruin a dinner party, or stress yourself out beyond belief. Too often people get excited when planning a menu and understandingly want the whole fête to be impressive, from the cocktail bites to dessert. As a private chef I have cooked many meals where the appetizers are the most laborious part, consisting of several tedious components. Most of us don’t have private chefs to help us entertain, so please allow me to offer some advice on the subject. If you’ve got guests for the holidays don’t overdo it, really. Keep appetizers simple and highlight fresh produce.
Now, enter my creamy winter squash dip. Here’s a dip with ingredients you can roast then chill in advance, and it is perfect with any winter squash. Paired with some make-ahead Simple Crostini and an Autumn Appetizer Board you can pre-assemble this festive and colorful spread that will keep guests happy and allow you to focus on dinner.
Squash Dip with Autumn Crudités
2 pounds winter squash, such as carnival or confetti, cut in half and seeded
1 head garlic, top quarter cut off to expose cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
2 to 4 ounces cream cheese, not whipped, room temperature
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, divided
Autumn Appetizer Board
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Rub squash halves and garlic head all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle the squash halves with salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic head in aluminum foil.
Place squash halves, cut-sides up, and garlic on a rimmed baking or half sheet pan. Roast until squash flesh is very tender when pierced with the tip of a small paring knife, 35 to 40 minutes. Allow squash and garlic to cool. Remove garlic from foil.
Using a spoon, scoop squash flesh from the skin and place in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. From the bottom up, squeeze roasted garlic cloves out and into food processor. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, 2 ounces cream cream and 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Pulse until well combined. Taste dip. If you want a creamier texture and taste add remaining 2 ounces of cream cheese. Taste for seasoning and adjust as you see fit. Chill for at least 1 hour, up to 2 days in advance.
See more recipes from our Autumn Appetizers Crate.