Monday, February 26, 2007

Butternut Squash Bruschetta

Yikes! I can’t believe that February is nearly over and I haven’t put up a single recipe. This is partly because I’ve been working like crazy and living off easy favorites like broccoli and tofu, drizzled with a mixture of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds, and baked at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. It is also because I don’t have a great picture for this bruschetta recipe. And this is a recipe that deserves a great shot: it looks so beautiful arranged on a wooden cutting board.

But comfort food season is almost over, and I want to share this before the weather gets too hot for spicy squash dishes, so here it is, sans accompanying story, avec mediocre photo. For those of you who have never considered using squash in a bruschetta, (I know I hadn’t, until I found this recipe), this is one of the best appetizers I’ve made in ages. It was also the talk of the party I took it to.

Butternut Squash Bruschetta
adapted from “‘ino’s Butternut Squash Bruschetta,” published in New York magazine


- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 2 Tbsp honey
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 baguette, cut on a bias into ½ to 1-inch slices
- 6 tsp walnut oil
- 4 tsp asiago cheese, grated


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Toast the walnuts.

3) Cut squash into ½-inch cubes.

4) Gently fold the first 7 ingredients together in a medium bowl.

5) Spread mixture evenly on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, then gently stir ingredients, and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.

6) Remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature.

7) Meanwhile, toast the baguette slices in the oven until they are slightly crisp.

8) Scoop a generous tablespoon of the squash mixture onto each piece of baguette. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and garnish with a drizzle of walnut oil and grated asiago.

Note on bread:
Make sure the baguette isn’t too narrow. The topping is chunky, and if the bread is too small, the topping easily falls off.

Note on walnut oil:
I have made this a couple times, and once I forgot to drizzle the walnut oil. It still tasted great. For good, reasonably priced walnut oil, go to Cost Plus or Trader Joe’s.

Note on making this as a side dish:
This is an excellent side dish. If using it as a side dish, you should cut the squash into 1-inch chunks.