Recipe courtesy of Chef Peter Berley, author of The Flexitarian Table: Inspired, Flexible Meals for Vegetarians, Meat Lovers, and Everyone in Between.
1 pound winter squash, such as red kuri, pumpkin, butternut or buttercup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dry pack)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1. Peel the squash, cut open and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 2-inch chunks.
2. In a large pot over high heat, add the water, squash and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the pumpkin and reserve the cooking liquid.
3. In a small saucepan over high heat, add the tomatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to soften.
4. In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until they soften and begin to brown. Add the walnuts, garlic, sage and red pepper flakes and sauté gently for 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Drain the plumped tomatoes and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Add the sautéed vegetables and pumpkin chunks. Puree until creamy, adding the reserved pumpkin water if needed, until the desired consistency is reached, season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve chilled with favorite crudités and chips or crackers.
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