When I started to think about Christmas & New Years Eve hors d’oeuvre/appetizers, my mind initially went to dips. They’re easy to make, usually in advance, and people can still mix and mingle while snacking on them before the feast that’s to follow. It’s easy to fall into making the run-of-the-mill crowd pleasing dips, like spinach and artichoke heart or french onion. Sure everybody is going to love them but they are soooooo boooooring and played out. With very little effort you can make something much more exciting and significantly healthier!
The inspiration for this dish comes from one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego, Urban Solace. They have a goat cheese-butternut squash dish on the menu that we love to order and schmear all over some of their insanely delicious cheese biscuits. (Actually if you want to take the time to make biscuits to serve with this dip, these would go along side stunningly!) Though it’s been over a year since I’ve had Urban Solace’s dip, the essence of it is still in my head. This is my take on that dip which I’ve spiked with a tub of Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock for an even richer flavor. It’s super simple to make, has big flavors and as far as dips are concerned it’s pretty darn healthy! (Assuming you don’t opt for making those biscuits, that is.) I hope you all have an amazing holiday season and enjoy being surrounded by friends, family and all of the amazing food.
*I am a professional recipe developer being paid by Knorr as part of the Knorr 4 promotion. While Knorr is footing the bill, all content and opinions comes directly from my (sometimes offbeat and slightly cheesy) brain.
2 tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 (approximately 2lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut in 1" cubes
4 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tub Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock
1 1/2 cups water
4 oz chevre, crumbled & separated in half
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
fried sage leaves, to garnish, recipe follows (optional)
pita chips, crackers, tortilla chips or flatbread, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Preheat a large pot over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add butter to the pot. Once butter has melted, add onions. Sweat onions over medium heat until translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add butternut squash to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sage. Stir and cook for 1 minute until the aroma of sauteing garlic reaches your nose. Add tub of Knorr Homestyle Stock and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to med-low. Simmer butternut squash until very tender, about 12-15 minutes. Add 2 oz chevre. Stir until melted.
Transfer contents of pot into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Pour dip into a baking dish. (Dip can be made to this step up to 24 hours in advance. Store refrigerated until ready to bake.) Sprinkle remaining 2 oz of crumbled chevre evenly over the top of the dip. Place in oven and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until chevre begins to melt and turn golden on the tips.
Remove from oven and garnish with a sprinkle of fried sage leaves.
Serve warm with pita chips, crackers, tortilla chips or flatbread for dipping.
Servings: Approximately 8-10
Total cooking time: Approximately 45 minutes
For Fried Sage
1/3 cup canola oil
Heat canola oil in a small saucepan over medium to medium high heat until oil reaches between 315 to 330 degrees. Add sage leaves and fry for 20-30 seconds until crispy. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon immediately and drain on paper towels. Always be very cautious when frying. If the oil exceeds the smoking point it will catch on fire. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PUT OUT OIL FIRES WITH WATER.