heirloom & wild-grown dried fruits & nuts from Afghanistan

Vilda’s Pistachio & Almond Crackers with Honeynut Squash Dip

The nutty crunch of these pistachio & almond crackers is a match made in heaven for this silky, spiced honeynut squash dip . While these recipes were developed with the romantic marriage of the two in mind, both the dip and the crackers are delicious enough to stand on their own. The crackers are a great accompaniment to any number of cheeses or creamy dips, and the squash dip is lovely with seasonal crudité or even as the base of a grain bowl. 


For pistachio & almond crackers 

⅔ cup Zibs pistachios
⅓ cup Ziba Shakurbai almonds 
¾ cup oats 
1 tablespoon chia 
2 tbsp psyllium husk 
¾ tsp sea salt 
1 tablespoon blue poppy seeds 
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1½ tablespoon olive oil 
1 teaspoon maple syrup 
¾ cup water

For roasted honeynut squash & tahini dip 

1 cup roasted honeynut squash puree, from approximately 2 small honeynut squashes
3 cloves of garlic 
3 tablespoons lemon juice 
1 tablespoon plus a teaspoon sherry vinegar 
½ cup tahini 
½ cup filtered water
2 teaspoons sea salt 
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Aeppo pepper
2 tablespoons kishmish raisins 
¼ cup crumbled feta, optional 
Dill, olive oil and flaky salt, for garnish 


For pistachio & almond crackers 

To make the crackers, first blitz the almonds and pistachios until their biggest pieces resemble the size of a sunflower seed. Since the almonds are a bit larger than the pistachios, I like to pulse the almonds alone until they’re the size of the pistachios, then I add the pistachios and keep pulsing. 

Combine the oats, chia, psyllium husk, sea salt, poppy seeds, and fennel seeds in a large mixing bowl. Add the pulsed nuts and mix to combine. 

In a measuring cup, combine the water, olive oil, and maple syrup. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and use your hands to mix everything well. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside to hydrate for 30 minutes. This step is essential, as it allows the psyllium husk time to soak up all of the moisture, which in turn acts as the binding agent for the crackers. 

Turn the cracker dough out onto a piece of parchment paper, then sandwich it in between another piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough into a thin sheet. Remove the top piece of parchment paper, then use your fingers to seam any cracks along the perimeter of the dough. These crackers are not particularly precious, so don’t stress over any minor imperfections. 

Transfer the rolled out dough to a sheet tray, and cover with cling wrap or a clean tea towel. Set aside to hydrate for another hour and a half. 

Preheat your oven to 350°F. 

Bake for 20 minutes, then as gracefully as you can flip the whole cracker to roast for another 10 minutes on the other side. Don’t fret if the cracker breaks a bit. The cracker is done baking when it’s deeply golden on the surface and looks crispy along the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool, break into big, dippable pieces. 

For roasted honeynut squash & tahini dip

As the cracker is baking, start making the honeynut squash dip. Place your squash on a sheet tray and roast until they feel soft to the touch, about 20-25 minutes. Set them aside to cool, then peel off the skin and measure out a cup of the soft, roasted flesh.

Microplane the garlic into the bowl of a food processor. Cover it in the lemon juice and one teaspoon of sherry vinegar and set aside to macerate for 5 minutes. This time allows the pungency of the raw garlic to mellow. Add the tahini and mix on a low speed until everything comes together. The tahini will seize up at first but will relax into a luscious sauce once you’ve added the water. With the food processor running, slowly stream in the water. Add the squash puree, salt, cumin, and Aleppo pepper and mix until smooth. At this point, the consistency should be luscious and spoonable. Taste the dip for seasoning, does it need a touch more acid? More salt? More heat? Adjust to your palate’s content. 

This dip is delicious served just as is, drizzled with a touch of olive oil and a pinch of flaky salt. If you have the time and desire to go above and beyond, top it with a crumble of feta, some fresh dill, and some vinegar-soaked kishmish raisins. For the raisins, soak them in a tablespoon of sherry vinegar for 10 minutes and then strain off the vinegar. To serve, make a well in the squash dip and nestle in all of the toppings. Drizzle with a little olive oil and flaky salt and serve with the pistachio & almond crackers. 

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