Healthy Happy Life

Roasted Cauliflower Pumpkin Swirl Dip.

September winds down and fall blooms. The leaves are turning golden and gathering in piles along the sidewalks, apple picking and pumpkin patches are sprouting up and Whole Foods has finally stocked towering shelves of organic canned pumpkin. I bought four cans.

Pumpkin Recipes.
I suspect that in a few months we will all be totally pumpkined-out. Done. At least for me, it happens every year. But for right now I'm in pumpkin euphoria, dreaming up all sorts of new pumpkin recipes. First up, this dreamy Roasted Cauliflower Pumpkin Swirl Dip.

Pumpkin Dip. This savory, slightly sweet dip is infused with flavors of fall: maple, sweet caramelized onion, rich golden organic pumpkin, garlic, cinnamon, pepper and a hint of truffle salt (optional). Served warm, chilled or baked - this dip is a winning welcome-to-fall dish..

This is a soothing dish to make. Mostly because it includes the simple process of roasting veggies - one of my favorite things to do. "Roasting veggies" goes in the same category as simmering soup - for both, the entire house fills with an aroma of cozy.

How to Serve? My plan was to slow bake this dip until the top layer became crusty and the center soft, melty and velvety. But alas, I finished photographing the dip and simply had to dive into the unbaked, still warm mixture - as is shown. Yum! Soft and thick like a creamy hummus.

After I pulled myself away from my taste-testing - I stuck the dish in the oven for a slow baking. The baked version was also lovely. More spreadable for crostini or crackers - since the unbaked dip was really just that - dippable. Baked, it becomes less moist. More like a cashew cheese bake.

And then I tried it chilled. Also nice. You'll have to decide what you prefer.

The best part about this recipe is that it is pretty fast and easy - even though it looks quite gourmet. Time break-down: 20-25 minutes roasting and another 5-10 minutes getting the puree and swirl presentation just right. Easily served in 30 minutes from start to finish (unless you choose to bake or chill the dip to serve).

What are your favorite pumpkin-infused fall recipes??

Roasted Cauliflower Pumpkin Swirl Dip
vegan, makes 6-7 cups

Roasted Veggies:
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of truffle salt and fine black pepper

Pumpkin Swirl:
3/4 cup canned organic pumpkin, unsweetened
1 cup garbanzo beans, canned/drained/unsalted
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cider vinegar
dash cinnamon
salt to taste

White Puree:
roasted cauliflower (about 8 cups loose)
roasted onion
olive oil drizzle from roasting pans
3-6 Tbsp soy creamer or milk (plain) until blends smooth
salt to taste

garnish: small florets of roasted cauliflower and bits of roasted onion, drizzle EVOO, pepper

To Make:

1. Turn oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash and chop cauliflower. Add to large baking sheet.
3. Chop onion - also add to baking sheet.
4. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over top the roasting veggies - salt/pepper. And lightly toss in pan to coat veggies. Roast for about 20-25 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized.
5. In a blender or food processor puree the pumpkin swirl ingredients, set aside. Rinse blender of pumpkin mixture.
6. Remove veggies from oven when ready and add to blender or fp. I used my Vitamix. (note: keep a few whole bits out for garnish). Add the soy milk/creamer (as needed to loosen blend) as well as all the leftover oil from the roasting pan. Blend until smooth and creamy. Salt to taste. I love adding truffle salt or oil to the cauliflower/onion mixture.
7. Add white mixture to oven-friendly serving dish. Top with the pumpkin mixture in the center. Press pumpkin to bottom of dish - then use a form or toothpick to create a swirl pattern.
8. Top with EVOO, cauliflower florets and a few leftover onion bits. Pepper. Slowly bake at 250 degrees to your desired moistness. As the mixture bakes, the top layer will dry out a bit and become more like a crust. Serve warmed, chilled or baked. Makes about 6-7 cups of dip.

Craving more fall recipes?
Check out my 30 vegan fall-inspired recipes slideshow!

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