Taste of Georgetown Winner: Pumpkin Hummus

Somehow the annual Taste of Georgetown always ends up on the most picturesque of fall days, and this year was no exception. A few weekends ago, I donned some stretchy pants and returned for my sixth year to serve as a judge for the annual outdoor food festival.

This year saw the first "Pumpkin Food Fight," pitting six Georgetown chefs against one another to create the best dish highlighting the season's star vegetable. I was joined on the judge panel by the Washington Post's Tim Carman and Georgetown Patch's Shaun Courtney.

Mie N Yu put out a lovely spicy pumpkin soup with coconut milk and duck confit. Filomena Ristorante entered a rich pumpkin cheesecake, while Rugby Café went for pumpkin chili. Dean & DeLuca took inspiration from street food with a pumpkin tamale, and Chadwicks served peach and pumpkin cobbler in hollowed out baby pumpkins.

But it was chef Ryan Fichter's simple but satisfying pumpkin hummus on top of toasted bread piled with jamon that bested the competition. The Thunder Burger and Bar chef, better known for cooking up rare game like bear and elk, roasted pumpkin and mixed it with chickpeas for a flavorful twist on traditional hummus.

The chef generously shared his recipe, which would make a perfect appetizer for fall dinner party.
Check out Fichter's Chef 5 Bites too.

Pumpkin Hummus Crostini with Jamon
adapted from chef Ryan Fichter of Thunder Burger

1 3-4 pound pumpkin, suitable for cooking
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon tahini paste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

bread of your choice, toasted for crostini
thinly sliced jamon or prosciutto

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Split the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and place on a baking sheet. Rub the skin with olive oil and roast for 1 1/2 hours until a toothpick is easily inserted into the flesh. Let cool slightly then remove the outer skin and discard. Let pumpkin cool completely. You should have roughly 3-4 cups of meat.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the chickpeas, pumpkin, spices, tahini, olive oil and salt. Puree until smooth. If needed, add 1/2 cup of water to get the desired consistency. Salt to your liking.

Serve the hummus on top of crostini and pile with prosciutto or jamon.