Thursday, January 5, 2012

Butternut Apple Bruschetta

I'm posting this recipe today to prepare you for your next party, as this recipe is not to be missed.  First at the cookie swap, and then at another holiday party, these bruschetta got rave reviews and are nothing short of fantastic!

Action shot!  Thanks Cara :)

Butternut Apple Bruschetta
inspired by Joanne & Jen
Serves a crowd

I didn't count how many bruschetta I made, but I'm guessing I could've gotten ~3dozen from this recipe.  The butternut squash and apples can be roasted ahead of time, just bring them to room temperature before assembly.

1 lg butternut squash
1 lg, crisp apple (or 2 small, I used honeycrisp)
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt (I used coarse for roasting and fine for seasoning the ricotta)
freshly ground black pepper
1 15oz tub fresh ricotta cheese
cranberry bread (the Savory Cranberry loaf I used the first time was stellar, but cranberry walnut also worked well)
fresh sage
reduced balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375deg.

Cut the butternut squash and apples into similar sized cubes, I went for ~1/2" dice.  Add cubed squash and apples to a large bowl and toss with 1-2T olive oil, some coarse sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-30min, tossing halfway.  Set aside to cool.

Melt a small slab of butter in a skillet (probably ~1T) over medium-low heat.  Add fresh sage leaves (a handful?  I just made sure they were in a single layer in the skillet) and cook until beginning to brown, ~2-3min/side.  Once crispy, transfer sage leaves to a plate lined with paper towels and drain until ready to assemble crostini.

Slice bread into thin slices, then into smaller, easy to hold pieces.  The cranberry bread I used was bigger than a traditional baguette, so I cut each slice into 3 pieces.  Lay out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt and then bake, a few minutes on each side until they are beginning to brown and are crispy.

While the bread cools, finish preparing the remaining components.  Add a bit of salt and a good dose of freshly ground black pepper to the ricotta and mix well (do this right in the container, no need to dirty another bowl!).  Crumble the crispy sage into a small bowl.  To prepare the balsamic vinegar to top the crostini, add 1/4c balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it has reduced by about half.

To prepare the bruschetta, top each crostini with a heaping tablespoon of ricotta and a spoonful of roasted squash and apples.  Repeat with remaining crostini and add to a serving dish.  Once they're all done, sprinkle the crispy sage over the bruschetta and drizzle on the balsamic vinegar.



What was the best appetizer you had this past holiday season?

23 comments:

Elizabeth said...

YES. Omg I would eat this all day every day

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Happy New Year! These look soooo good! Hmm best app this holiday season? I had some arancini at a holiday party that were pretty awesome!

The Food Hunter said...

how unique!

Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living said...

Yes! I've been waiting for this recipe =). I've been all about butternut squash lately, and wish I could have stayed at the cookie swap to taste this bruschetta. I will just have to make it for myself!

The best appetizer I had over the holiday season was - hands down - the crab cakes my sister-in-law made on Christmas. I wrote down the recipe and am thinking about sharing in on the blog. SO good!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Gorgeous colors! I can see why this dish was such a big hit!

Erica said...

Perfect! Butternut squash and apples go together so well. Best app? I had a pretty awesome pizza app

Joanne said...

Oh man, i've been waiting for this since I LOVED your version! I ended up eating my leftovers when I made it out of the bowl with a spoon...it was so good.

Reeni said...

These look crazy delicious! Love butternut and apple together. We didn't do many appetizers this year but I had an Italian herb seasoned cheese that ruled.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

Beautiful! I could eat this day in and day out!! One surprising appetizer that I couldn't stop going back for was a tzatziki sauce with veggies and crackers. There was just someting amazing about that tzatziki!

Megan said...

I've been waiting for this recipe! I've had so many appetizers over the holidays I'm not sure I could choose!

Amy said...

Yum. This sounds very good. I have lots of squash stored in the basement to use up over the winter, too.

Ranjani said...

These were fantastic! I'm excited to make them myself now!

Daisy said...

Keeping these in mind for the next time I need to whip up an app! they look so good.

Kelly said...

MMmm...I love ricotta as well as apples in savory applications so this sounds absolutely FANTASTIC. Ever since I had some really fantastic whole milk ricotta at a local restaurant here earlier in the year i've been mildly obsessed and I love how you've put it to good use.

Katie said...

I'm a total butternut squash eating machine, so I know I'd love this!

vanillasugarblog said...

yes very unique. and i love that about you.
i need to start making healthier "kicked up" recipes this year--I get so many requests for it.
these are amazing Shan

Simply Life said...

oh I would never think to make this but LOOOVE that combination of foods! brilliant!

Cotter Crunch said...

i always love your combos. Perfect pairing!

Kerstin said...

These were soooo good and I loved that you used such a fun bread as the base, I wouldn't have thought to do that! YUM!!

Jen said...

Love you adaptation of this recipe. And great pics!!

Lizzy said...

I'm pretty sure I ate a dozen of these. They were so good!

Natalie said...

i love the idea of using a flavored bread for this! need to remember that next time i'm making bruschetta :)

Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

Mmm, I want these NOW! :D

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