Like many kitchen dwellers, I don’t like to see food go to waste. But when you do business with food, you can’t break even every time on what you spend and what you sell. There’s almost always excess that did not make it to the consumers. At my old job, it killed me to have to throw away day-old muffins, scones, bread, desserts, etc. But that’s called quality control, and it’s a fact of life in the food industry. At least we used to make bread pudding with the unsold croissants (and it was very awesome bread pudding).
So after the farmer’s market this past weekend, I have some leftover products, all of which are still perfectly good since they have a decent shelf life (by the way, if you’d like to try a chocolate chunk & espresso sea salt cookie, I have some left for $3 each). One of the items is a sweet and spicy nut mix with smoked salt. After having tasted the mix a bazillion times to make sure the seasoning was correct, I knew I couldn’t eat much of it myself (I like my cooking of course, but I tire easily of some things). So I decided to try something with a couple other items I had in the fridge.
Once again, I turn to the food processor:
Mmmm, sweet and spicy coated goodness…
I also had some mashed up butternut squash that I roasted last week. You know how much I like butternut squash… And a bunch of naked limes that I zested for those Cowgirl in the Sand Cookies. I ground up the nuts until they were mealy and started to stick together. I squeezed in the juice of two limes. And added the squash. Pureeeeeeeeee.
And got this:
Now it may not look like much. It may just look like some plain old hummus. But. I did not really anticipate how freakin’ yummy this stuff is. It’s creamy, tangy, slightly sweet, lightly spiced… it kinda reminds me of that sweet pumpkin dip people like to serve with ginger snaps around the holidays. Except this is better. So much better. No offense to that other pumpkin dip, but it’s a little overdone, and a little too sweet. It belongs on a cake. This stuff has a rightful place on the holiday party snack table. The blend of spices, nuts and lime actually give it a subtle cheese-like flavor, a nice little burst of umami. That, combined with the sweet squash, makes it a total comfort food. I am sooo selling this at the farmer’s market this season. I just gotta tinker the recipe for cost effectiveness. I can’t believe October starts this Saturday. Damn.
(By the way, I still also have a few packs of those spiced nuts. $2.50 each.)