Thanksgiving is only TWO weeks away, so Butternut Squash and Pear Crostini are coming to you right on time.
Ever since Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli came to life a few weeks ago, I cannot get it out of my mind. I’ve been obsessing over the creamy, comforting, herb-a-licious filing, looking for any way to use it.
Which brings us to right here and now, with the best kind of appetizer there is: crostini.
With the best fall spread. And cheese. And herbs. And pears. The best, of the best, of the best. Are you ready for this?
Step 1: ROASTED butternut squash. Because everything is better roasted. Then mixed with garlic, parmesan, thyme, and nutmeg.
P.S. If you have leftover filling from the ravioli – USE IT! If not, I’d highly suggest making extra butternut squash filling/layer so you can have two amazing fall recipes for the work of one!
Step 2: Fresh baguette. Olive oil. Salt. Pepper. –> into the oven they go to get nice and crisp. After a few minutes of browning, on goes the white cheddar cheese. Back in the oven to get melty.
Step 3: Layer. Onto the cheesy, melty, crostini goes the butternut squash mixture, a pear slice, and garnish with thyme and black pepper.
Step 4: Place them on a serving platter, hide in the closet, eat them all yourself. Oh, but don’t forget the wine, because they are wine’s new best friend.
Let’s talk about these pairings though… the sharp white cheddar cheese coupled with the butternut squash mix is heaven. It’s a yin-yang of sharp, slightly pungent cheese with sweet, warm, and comforting flavors.
Then the pear… oh, the pear. The contrast of textures – crisp bread, melty cheese, soft spread, and then the pear… slightly soft, with a bit of bite. It adds to the yin-yang of flavors, too, adding to the slight sweetness.
You’re going to love all of these fall flavors in EACH and EVERY bite!
A fall appetizer full of warm, comforting flavors – white cheddar cheese is balanced with butternut squash, thyme, and pear all atop of crostini.
- 2 cups butternut squash, small dice
- Olive oil, drizzle
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 6 – 8 oz. white cheddar cheese, sliced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1-2 pears, sliced
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Toss butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through cook time.
- Once butternut squash is cooked, lower oven temperature to 375°. Lay baguette sliced in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil lightly on each side, salt, and pepper (I usually drizzle on one side, turn it over, and “push” the baguette slice around the olive oil to cover, then repeat with the other side). You don’t want the slices drenched in olive oil.
- Cook the baguette for 5-6 minutes. Flip slices and then add slices of cheese on each crostini. Return to oven to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Using an immersion blender, blend together roasted butternut squash, parmesan cheese, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Spread across crostini. Top with a pear slice. Garnish with additional thyme and black pepper as desired.
If you want to top with a crisp sage leaf, heat 1 Tablespoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.