|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)
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?