Last year in the chaos of prepping for my family’s elaborate Thanksgiving meal , I realized I had forgotten about an appetizer . No appetizer !! Nothing to fend off the hungry wolves while I put the finishing touches on the meal ! That simply would NOT do . I would’ve had both kids and adults begging, whining and dramatically proclaiming that they may pass out from hunger.
Looking at the ingredients I was cooking with or left overs I had in the days before of prep;I came up with this. Left over diced squash and shallots from a soup , a day old baguette, dried cranberries and some goat cheese I had frozen . Adding spices ,herbs and caramelized in the oven. Voilà !!! It was a crowd pleaser. This is how Spicy Butternut Squash and Goat cheese Crostini was born.
This year I’ll be making the same appetizer with much more intention , however it will be elevated in flavor in a big way . I’ll be using high quality Extra Virgin Olive oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar from Lot22 Olive Oil Company . Which is a local shop here in Redlands, California that specializes in very fresh local and sourced Extra Virgin Olive oils , Dark and White aged Balsamic Vinegars imported from Modena Italy and Single Origin Spices from all around the world. When you use high quality ingredients, everything taste so much better. In this recipe I used Pomegranate and Black Missin Fig dark Balsamic . They both have amazing flavor profiles that really pair well with Goat cheese and Butternut Squash . This recipe is sweet, savory and spicy using left over ingredient you may already have on hand . Easy and simple with incredible flavor !
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we did ! Happy Thanksgiving y’all !!
Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash and goat Cheese Crostini
- 2 cups Butternut squash , diced small
- 1/4 cup diced Shallots or Sweet Onion
- 1/4 cup Lot22 Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1/4 cup aged Lot22 Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar ( Traditional is fine)
- 2 cloves of chopped Garlic
- 3/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 tsp of Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Red Chile flake
- 1/2 tbsp dried Thyme
- 1 tbsp of Kosher Salt
- 1/4 cup Lot22 Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
- 6-8 ounces Herb or Plain Goat cheese
- 1-French Baguette sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 1 tsp of chopped flat leaf Parsley
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil
- Peel and small dice a butternut squash and the shallots/sweet onion then mince the garlic
- Combine ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add Olive oil and Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar
- Season Butternut squash mixture with Smoked Paprika, Thyme, Red Pepper Flakes and Kosher salt. stir to combine well
- Spread mixture onto foil line Baking sheet, then place in preheated oven to roast
- After 10 minutes roasting, remove baking tray and add dried Cranberries. Stir around the pan, make sure to not over crowd the pan for even roasting
- Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until browned and tender. Let Butternut squash mixture cool for 5 minutes
- While the mixture is cooling heat a non stick skillet over medium and add 1/4 cup Pomegranate Balsamic vinegar. Simmer for 2 minutes or until vinegar becomes thick like molasses. Remove from heat. A side note : if your Balsamic Vinegar is not high quality or long aged , your reducing time will vary. What your looking for is that it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Slice the French Baguette on a bias. At this point you can toast your baguette slices or simply serve them soft
- Top each slice of bread with an even layer of Goat cheese and Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries
- To finish Drizzle each piece with the reduce Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar, fresh parsley and a few flakes of Sea salt.