Toasted Walnut, Fig, and Butternut-Squash Dip

Sturdy crackers or chips, such as pita chips, stand up well to this robust starter. 

Toasted Walnut, Fig, and Butternut-Squash Dip
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Ingredients
  1. 3 1/2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped butternut squash
  2. 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  3. 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  4. 1 cup chopped fresh pear
  5. 1/3 cup chopped dried figs
  6. 3 tablespoons honey
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  8. 2 teaspoons canola oil
  9. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, place butternut squash and 1/2 teaspoon salt with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until tender, approximately 8 minutes. Drain; let cool completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine squash, walnuts, pear, and figs. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, lemon juice, oil, red pepper, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Drizzle honey mixture over squash mixture, tossing to combine. Cover, and let stand for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serve with salted, baked pita chips.
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