the thin chef

Butternut Squash Bruschetta

butternut-bruschetta

When I wrote a twitter update recently about wanting a butternut squash soup recipe, my friend and fellow food lover Lytle (great name, huh?) suggested her creative recipe for butternut squash bruschetta instead. Apparently it’s based on dishes served at Urban Flats, a chic, fun, Florida-based restaurant, and ‘Ino in New York, which I have written about before. Though it took me a second to warm up to the idea, as soon as I saw the ingredients, I knew it would be something delicious, and Lyt assured me the dish had been a huge hit when she’d made it before.

I tweaked it a bit, adding things (plain garlic, not roasted) and taking things out (dried cranberries) to suit our tastes and what I had on hand, but I’ll include Lytle’s original ingredients, too, so you can decide how you want to make it. Everything she listed sounded like they’d be perfect additions. Jason and I had this for dinner with a simple green salad, and it was just perfect…but it would be a delicious appetizer, just served on smaller pieces of bread. (I cut mine into giant hand-size slices since it was dinner. And since I take any excuse I can to eat hand-size crostini.)

I also added some goat cheese at the last minute, after my first bite, because I thought the cool creaminess would be a nice accent. I was right—it was fabulous. So add some in, or not…it’s pretty darn good any way you make it. I’ll definitely make this again with the squash we get in our CSA box…and I imagine this would be delicious with any winter squash, including pumpkin. I have to give major props (in the most old-school R&B way possible) to miss Lytle for showing me an addictively delicious way to enjoy this seasonal favorite.

Butternut Squash Bruschetta
serves 2 dinner, 4 or 6 as an appetizer

2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch of black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced OR 1 head roasted garlic, cloves removed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries (use more or less, depending on your tastes, or leave them out altogether)
10 toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cooked and crumbled bacon (optional — but do it. Trust me.)
French baguette, cut on a bias into as many slices as you’d like
1/3 cup arugula, chopped (optional, but recommended)
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
4 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400º. In a medium bowl, toss squash with olive oil honey, mixing gently to combine. Add pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, stirring to coat. Add raw garlic, if using. Spread the squash mixture evenly on an ungreased baking sheet. Roast 10 minutes, then gently stir ingredients, then roast 10-15 minutes more, checking with a fork to see when squash are tender and slightly browned. Remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, brush baguette slices lightly with olive oil, and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled squash mixture with roasted garlic (if using instead of raw), cranberries, walnuts, and bacon. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as needed. Arrange the toasted baguette slices on a platter and scatter the chopped arugula over the bread. Scoop a generous helping of the squash mixture onto each baguette slice, and garnish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and top with goat cheese. Serve immediately.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 15th, 2009 at 10:23 pm and is filed under side dish, spicy, vegetables, vegetarian. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

 

7 Responses to “Butternut Squash Bruschetta”

  1. Sarah P. Says:

    I’m definitely going to try this!!

    I’ve been meaning to send this to you for a while, but this is one of my favorite fall/winter recipes that I think you’ll love: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Black-Bean-Chili-with-Butternut-Squash-and-Swiss-Chard-234146

  2. thin chef Says:

    Yum! That looks delicious. Will definitely have to try it. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Kate Says:

    This looks awesome! Jon thought it would be really good too if you (“we” because I am totally making this) used mushrooms sauteed in garlic and butter instead of the squash and then served with a green salad and poached egg. We’re getting the best mushrooms in right now… just wanted you to know that you’re really inspiring the Houston kitchen! :)

  4. thin chef Says:

    Mushrooms sound like a great idea. I love them (unfortunately, Jason doesn’t), and I think mushrooms + bread might be a perfect dinner for me. :) Great suggestion by Chef Jon!

  5. PB&Ellie Says:

    I made this for a party and it was a huge hit. Thanks!

  6. Meghan @ I Like to Cook, Sorry if you Don't Says:

    I LOVE this recipe. I just wanted to let you know! Made it last year and I’m going to make it again to bring to Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to try it again.

  7. thin chef Says:

    So glad! It’s a favorite of ours, too :)