Having grown up in the Middle East, pumpkin hommus has been a staple part of our lives and diets. My parents tell us that when they first moved to Saudi Arabia, they found it so odd how most Egyptians could make an entire meal out of just hommus and bread- which is essentially starch on starch. Now, 30 years later, my sister and I have become those very Egyptians.
Creative takes on hommus are wide and varied now, ranging from avocado hommus, through beetroot hommus to just-about-everything-under-the-sun hommus. Hommus has almost become an easy go-to option for when one is given a mystery ingredient to work with in the Middle East. Weird vegetable? Don’t know what to do with it? Let’s just roast it and turn it into good old hommus. Yes, I realize I’ve been using the word “hommus” way too much. Hello, SEO.
I’ve been making this pumpkin hommus since long before I knew of any hommus other than the classic chickpea version. In fact, I’ve been making it longer than I’ve even known how to cook, really. I came across this recipe back in 2012, when binge-watching Masterchef U.S was the highlight of my unemployed life, and Gordon Ramsay ruled my world.
During that brief period of Gordon ruling my world -before he was overthrown by ever-reigning Anthony Bourdain- I came across episodes of Ultimate Cookery Course on YouTube, one of which taught Gordon’s “Roasted Pumpkin Hommus”. Wanting to put my parent’s oven to (any) use (because Pakistani’s aren’t really big on baking), I tried my hand at what back then felt like a major feat, and basked in the glory of successfully baking something that wasn’t burnt to a char.
Years later, after I’ve become much more of a seasoned cook, can dab at baking, and do flatlay styling and photography with my eyes closed, this Roasted Pumpkin Hommus recipe is still one of my stellar recipes and a blue-eyed child.
What I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is. There are no hard and fast rules or strictly measured quantities. If you don’t like roasting, you can boil/steam/cook the pumpkin however you’d like. If you don’t like pumpkin, feel free to swap it with another vegetable of choice. If you like more garlic, add more garlic. More lemon? Knock yourself out. Want it to be more runny? Let the olive oil guzzle right in. I personally don’t like cinnamon in my roasted pumpkin hommus, but if that’s your thing, you do you. In my experience, what gives hommus it’s unique taste is the tahini paste. That’s the one ingredient you just can’t swap.
In light of the annual #virtualpumpkinparty, the autumn festivities and how this marks the start of all things cosy, I couldn’t think of a better time to share this recipe with you.
Here’s the recipe for my Gordon Ramsay inspired Roasted Pumpkin Hommus:
1 small pumpkin, weighing about 1 kg
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp chili flakes (optional, but I like to go all out as I love spicy things)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup olive oil, and some to drizzle
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup tahini paste
1 pack of pita bread
Preheat oven to the 400 degrees.
Cut the pumpkin in half, and scoop out and discard the seeds and goop.
Sprinkle the cumin, garlic, salt and chili flakes in the middle of the pumpkin halves, and drizzle olive oil on top to prevent the pumpkin from drying out while roasting.
Place the pumpkin halves on a baking tray, with at least 3 inches between them, and bake for 40 minutes
Remove roasted pumpkin halves from oven, and you’ll be able to easily scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon.
Separate 4 cups worth of roasted pumpkin- that’s all you’ll need for one large serving of hommus. Add tahini and lemon juice to this, and blend using a processor, or hand-blender.
Spread the hommus out in a shallow dish, drizzle some olive oil on top for effect. I drizzled chili-infused olive oil because it turns orange. You can also garnish it with pumpkin seeds but as luck (or the lack thereof) would have it, I was all out.
Meanwhile, cut up the pita bread into 8 triangles each, spread them out on a baking tray, and toast them in the oven at 170 degrees for 10 minutes, until they’re crispy. Serve hommus with these chips.
To find the rest of the recipes at this year’s Virtual Pumpkin Party, click here!
If you’d like to see the video version of me preparing this recipe, click here.