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Halsey Farm in Water Mill sells honeynut squash. (Credit: Amy Zavatto)

The honeynut squash looks a little bit like a runty, if adorable, accident—like a butternut that just got tired of growing. While this cute little kitten-sized fruit (indeed, squash isn’t a veggie) looks downright delightful as a holiday table display, it was invented by Cornell plant breeder Michael Mazourek to be a smaller version of its big sister, butternut.

In this case, going smaller means it’s actually bigger in flavor. In shrinking its size, the honeynut developed a richer, nuttier, sweeter flavor profile that reveals itself to great effect when roasted. 

While some recipes call for gilding the lily with maple syrup and cinnamon, we think the honeynut’s innate fruity sweetness needs no amplification—and, in fact, tastes even better with the counterpoint of tang and spice. Grab a few at Halsey Farm in Water Mill and try this sweet-savory-tangy dip with whole grain pita chips, radishes, or even skewered grilled shrimp or chicken.

Honeynut-Tahini Dip

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Serves 4 people


  • 4 honeynut squash
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut off the stem and split the honeynut squash in half. Place on a roasting pan cut side up and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Roast for 25 minutes, or until fork tender. Allow to cool.
  • Scoop the flesh from the squash (it will yield about 1 1/3 cups). Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!