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Butternut Squash Brulee with Fresh Mozzarella, Brown Butter, and Pumpkin Seed Dukkah

Butternut Squash Brulee with Fresh Mozzarella, Brown Butter, and Pumpkin Seed Dukkah

This recipe is a true reflection of Chef Robert Dickey's experiences working as a chef, traveling, and family traditions. We love his savory, deconstructed twist on the classic pumpkin pie. The combination of brown butter with butternut squash is perfectly paired with his pumpkin seed dukkah and the silky texture of the mozzarella. If you're not familiar with it, dukkah is a traditional Egyptian blend of nuts, seeds, and warm spices that pairs perfectly with any veggie. Pro tip: substitute the mozz with burrata to make this feel super elegant.


1 each Butternut Squash
1/1/2 qt Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp Spicewalla Indian Coriander Seed
2 Tbsp Spicewalla Fennel Seed
3 each Spicewalla Cinnamon Sticks
5 each Spicewalla Bay Leaves
3 each Oranges
2 each Lemons
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Raw Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds
1 tsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Spicewalla Caraway Seeds
¼ tsp Spicewalla Kashmiri Chilli Powder
4 Tbsp Spicewalla Blue Poppy Seeds
½ lb Fresh Mozzarella or Burrata
Mustard Micro Greens  
Spicewalla Cyprus Flake Salt to taste


Brulee Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F

  2. Using a sharp knife remove the root and stem ends of the Butternut Squash. Make a cut to separate the bulb from the stalk. 

  3. Using a vegetable peeler, completely peel the squash.

  4. Cut the bulb in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

  5. Cut the squash crosswise into 1 inch thick pieces. Transfer to a shallow baking dish.

  6. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the oranges and lemons, then add the zest to the baking dish.

  7. Working in separate batches, place a dry ( no oil) saute pan on medium low heat and toast the Fennel Seed, Coriander, Cinnamon and Bay Leaves until fragrant. (4-6 Minutes) Transfer all to the baking dish.

  8. Cover the ingredients in the baking dish with the vegetable oil. 

  9. Cover the dish with parchment paper then wrap tightly in aluminum foil.

  10. Place in the preheated oven (300°F) for 40 mins.

  11. Remove from the oven, unwrap and allow to cool to room temperature. 

  12. Remove from oil and place on a wire rack and allow to dry. 

  13. If desired, cut the squash into oblique shapes.

  14. Immediately before serving, place the squash ( still on a wire rack) in the oven set to the highest broiler setting. Cook for 6 -8 minutes until the surface of the squash is evenly charred. ( Alternatively you can use a butane pastry torch.)

Make Brown Butter

  1. Immediately before serving, place the Butter in a small sauce pot on medium low heat.

  2. Cook, stirring frequently until the Butter is light golden brown in color, and the foaming on the surface stops(2-4 minutes)

  3. It should smell fragrant, like toasted nuts, not burnt. Be aware that it will continue to cook slightly after being removed from the heat.

Make Pumpkin Seed Dukkah

  1. Place a dry (no oil) saute pan over medium low heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir constantly. As they start to toast they will lightly pop. When they are golden brown on both sides and have stopped popping (2-4 minutes) transfer to a mixing bowl and immediately toss with the salt.

  2. Working in separate batches, toast the Coriander, Fennel, and Caraway Seeds in the same manner as the pumpkin seeds until fragrant (the spices won't pop, cook 4-6 minutes) transfer to the mixing bowl with the Pumpkin Seeds.

  3. Place the seed mixture in a food processor or spice grinder and pulse until a coarse mixture of uniform size results. 

  4. Transfer back to the mixing bowl, add the Blue Poppy Seeds and the Kashmiri Chilli. Stir to incorporate fully. Reserve for plating.

Assemble and Plate

  1. Cut the fresh mozzarella into oblique shapes ½ inch in size.

  2. Make sure the Butternut Squash and the Brown Butter are hot and ready to serve.

  3. Arrange the Butternut Squash on a large serving platter

  4. Spoon the Brown Butter over the top of the Butternut Squash and allow it to pool on the sides.

  5. Arrange the Fresh Mozzarella on top of, as well as next to the Butternut Squash in a decorative manner.

  6. Spoon the Pumpkin Seed Dukkah on top of and next to the Butternut Squash and Fresh Mozzarella in small piles.

  7. Garnish the entire plate with a generous portion Spicewalla Cyprus Flake Salt.

  8. Scatter the Mustard Micro Greens over the entire platter.

  9. Serve and Enjoy!


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