Hosting a gathering this holiday season? Whip up this easy-to-make fall appetizer inspired by a recent recipe I stumbled upon from Bon Appétit. I reserved some extra uncooked butternut squash cubes from Tuesday’s Butternut Squash Lasagna blog post in anticipation to today’s recipe. The fluffiness from the ricotta and brightness from the lemon really complement the butternut squash…making this a beautifully balance and easy hors d’oeuvre.
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
Finely grated lemon zest, to taste
Fresh lemon juice
Baguette slices, toasted
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush bread slices with olive oil and toast in the oven for about 7 minutes. While crostinis are in the oven, begin to peel, seed and cut butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes. Coat squash with olive oil and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper and arrange squash pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Remove crostinis and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Roast squash, turning occasionally, until squash is golden brown and tender (about 20 -25 minutes.) Allow to cool.
Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium – high heat. Fry sage leaves for about 30 seconds to 1 minute – until edges begin to curl and leaves begin to turn dark green. Careful not to burn the leaves. Transfer leaves to a paper towel to drain. Begin ricotta mixture by combining cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Spread ricotta mixture on crostini and top with a few cubes of butternut squash. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on bread slice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fried sage leaves.
Rochelle and I absolutely LOVE figs and when the weather begins to turn we know that the fig season is upon us. Both of us are lucky enough to have several fig trees on the property which allows us to quickly whip up an easy, yet delicious, appetizer or spruce up any entrée. If you haven’t given figs a try, check out these simple recipes below.
If you’ve read my previous post, then you know that I just harvested an array of multicolored Heirloom tomatoes from the garden. All shapes, colors and sizes: Cherokee Purples, Yellow Valencia, Purple Russian and Oxacan Jewels just to name a few. Since these vibrant beauties are ripe and ready to eat, I’ve decided to add them to as many dishes as possible this week. Therefore, for today’s post I married the Heirlooms with one of my favorite snacks: edamame. Healthy, easy to make and gorgeous to look at, this is the perfect salad to enjoy during the warm days of summer.
Heirloom Tomato & Edamame Salad
2 cups edamame, cooked and cooled Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped (I used 6 small tomatoes) 3 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (if you have sesame oil that would be a great substitution) Green onions, chopped Sea salt, to taste