Rosemary, Butternut Squash, and Radicchio Dip From Cafe Gratitude
It was a sunny San Diego morning (roughly two years ago) when Sam and and I stumbled across Cafe Gratitude for breakfast. For those who are unfamiliar, the restaurant is most known for serving up delicious plates of plant-based love. Immediately upon stepping inside, I was mesmerized by the display of freshly baked goods, and aroma of savory breakfast burritos in the air. I knew instantly that this was far from any plant-based restaurants I had been to. We sat down, each ordering a hot cup of “courageous” (black coffee) and began browsing the menu. Sam went full-throttle with the breakfast burrito (incredible), and I, like always, opted for sweet: pancakes.
It’s rare to come across a restaurant like Cafe Gratitude. Which is most likely why their locations have spread across Southern California by popular demand. And because we seldom have the chance to visit, I still reminisce on the few meals we’ve had. So when I saw the release of their newest cookbook, Love is Served, I immediately snagged a copy for us at home.
During his time in Italy, executive chef Seizan Dreux Ellis, originally set foot to write scripts. Instead, he found himself slipping more time in to the kitchen. “After a year in Italy, I had no film script, but I was coming to terms with my unvented passion to cook.” He took off. Learning from his mother-in-law, a “solid education on how to make vegetarian food that was still satisfying, and most important, how to do so with love.”
Dreux reflects his simple framework for cooking, and “how can I serve you?” approach through recipes titled “I am Elated” and “I am Divine.” The genius formulas for Mole Abuelita Enchiladas, and Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar. But my favorite Autumn-inspired dish thus far: Rosemary, Butternut Squash, and Radicchio Dip. “A rich, luscious dip for the fall or winter.”
Each recipe in the book manifests everyday food, keeping out animal products, processed soy, and (mostly) refined sugars. One glimpse inside, and you’ll find nothing short of the most flavor-forward plant-based meals. Using what Dreux states as “overlapping building blocks” which can be “mixed and matched as you please.” Exactly what I find, comforting, nourishing food to share with good company. Now that is a plate of love.
Scroll on to find the full recipe for this Rosemary, Butternut Squash, and Radicchio Dip. And snag your copy of Love is Served here! *Thank you Dreux Ellis, Lisa Romerein, and Rachel Holtzman for the syndication of this recipe. Enjoy.
Rosemary, Butternut Squash, and Radicchio Dip
For the Dip
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded, and diced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked salt or Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 recipe cashew cream (see below)
- 1/2 small head of red radicchio shredded
For the Cashew Cream
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
For the Cashew Cream
- Drain and rinse the cashews and transfer them to a high-speed blender.
- Add the lemon juice and salt along with 1/2 cup of water.
- Blend until smooth and creamy. (Set aside for this recipe) or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
For the Dip
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion becomes translucent, about 1 minute.
- Add the squash, rosemary, and salt and stir well.
- Partially cover the skillet and cook until the squash has softened a bit, 5 to 7 minutes, adding a few tablespoons of water if the pan begins to look dry.
- Add the white wine and deglaze the pan, loosening any small, delicious bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- When the wine has been absorbed, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let it sit for 5 minutes. The butternut squash is ready when it is soft and beginning to break apart.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the cashew cream, butternut squash mixture, and radicchio.
- Process half of the mixture in a food processor, mix that back into the remaining mixture, and transfer the mixture to a small baking dish (such as a 9-inch x 9-inch square or a 6-inch round) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the dip has puffed up slightly and has a golden-brown surface.
- Let the dip sit for 5 minutes before serving. It's best served warm but can also be served at room temperature with a selection of crostini, crackers, or vegetable crudite.