Squash Crostini is Coming to TownPosted: December 24, 2012
I’m visiting my family in Texas this week, and wouldn’t you know it – my mom put me to work making appetizers for their annual Christmas party. It’s funny how things change as we get older, right? I was very happy to oblige, of course. Now I can finally (start to) repay all those years of her working away in the kitchen for every holiday, birthday and special event throughout my life. My dad requested the sausage stuffed mushrooms I made for him on Father’s Day, and for another one, I decided to make these butternut squash, ricotta and sage crostini. They seem fancy but are actually really simple to make. All of the parts taste great on their own, but when combined on top of a lightly toasted slice of bread – it’s practically a Christmas miracle. So you butter watch out, these go quickly. You don’t want to pout if you don’t get one.
Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Sage Crostini
– 1 2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into small cubes
– 1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar
– ¾ cup of ricotta
– ½ teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
– Pinch of garlic salt
– 24 fresh sage leaves
– 1 baguette, sliced thin
– Olive oil
– Sea salt and pepper
Heat your oven to 425º.
In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the brown sugar. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is golden and tender. Stir once during roasting. Let cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, lemon zest and garlic salt, and season to taste with pepper. Cover and let chill until ready to use.
Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, lightly drizzle with olive oil and toast for a few minutes. At the same time, heat a tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few sage leaves and fry until the edges begin to curl and they turn dark green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat until all the sage leaves are fried.
While bread is still slightly warm, spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta mixture on each slice. Top with a few cubes of roasted squash and a fried sage leaf or two. Then serve.