Fall Appetizer Idea: Butternut Squash Bruschetta with Sage and Pomegranate
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This jewel-toned fall appetizer (or snack!) tastes as lovely as it looks.
Butternut squash bruschetta. Sage. Pomegranate. Creamy fresh ricotta. It’s a harvest fest on a pretty little plate. To quote a certain contessa, how bad can that be? Spoiler: it’s in fact very good. (And question: what if she were really asking how bad it could be?)
If you’re in a rush, you can buy pomegranate arils in a little container.
I’ve been calling this recipe fall-forward. And though I mainly mean it’s bursting with autumnal flavors and colors, I don’t mind the double entendre one bit. This season has been busy on a whole ‘notha level, and falling forward in a vaguely literal way sounds somewhere between appealing and inevitable.
Flexible party food
It’s mostly all good stuff, though, thankfully. Growth and enrichment opportunities. Civic engagement. Warm, fuzzy friend time. Various opportunities to entertain.
Speaking of which.
It’s nice to eat this bruschetta warm on a chilly evening, but it also flies perfectly well at room temperature, so it’s a flexible addition to a wide range of fall parties (and just good old fall days).
- 1 baguette
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, picked from stems
- 1 1/2 pounds small-diced butternut squash (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 12 ounces fresh ricotta
- Pomegranate seeds
- Flaky salt (such as Maldon) for sprinkling
- Balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.
- Slice baguette on the bias into 1/4-inch thick slices and brush with two tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm butter and remaining two tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan.
- Add sage and thyme and cook for a minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Butter will brown.
- Add squash, salt and pepper and cook, stirring only occasionally, until squash is lightly browned in lots of spots, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in walnuts and transfer pan to oven.
- Roast until squash is very tender and will fall apart when stirred, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and stir in sherry vinegar.
- Spread some ricotta onto each toast and top with some butternut squash mixture.
- Press a few pomegranate seeds into squash mixture.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with flaky salt.
- Serve warm or at room temperature
Cut butternut squash into cubes of 1/2 inch or smaller so it will cook quickly and evenly.