It's no secret that I love butternut squash. It's earthy, just a little sweet, and I believe that roasting brings out it's very best qualities. It also pairs well with crunchy buttery nuts and soft cheeses. Butternut squash and ricotta is a pretty classic pairing, but the whole flavor really sings with chopped pistachios, a little drizzle of pistachio oil, and local honey. If pistachio oil can't be found, a high quality extra virgin olive oil makes a beautiful substitute. This crostini has been a real crowd-pleaser at various get-togethers. It's eye-catching beauty alone makes it worthy of an appearance at your next party. I hope you enjoy!
Butternut Squash, Ricotta, and Pistachio Crostini
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2- inch cubes
1 T. olive oil
1 baguette, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 c. ricotta, preferably local, grass-fed, and/or organic
1/2 c. unsalted shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1-2 T. local honey, for drizzling
pistachio oil or extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
sea salt, as needed
Begin by roasting the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position two oven racks towards the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the butternut squash pieces with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and an even sprinkling of salt, and spread out in a single layer on the parchment. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking, or until squash is tender and a little brown around the edges.
While the squash bakes, slice the baguette into 1/4- inch slices and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the sheet in the oven on the other rack and bake until the bread is just a little toasted, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and allow the bread cool.
Assemble the crostini. Top each with a small spoonful of ricotta, a few butternut squash cubes, a sprinkle of chopped pistachios, a drizzle of honey, and a drizzle of pistachio oil or extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Enjoy! Serves 10-12 as an appetizer.