Ok, to start off some holiday recipes, I'm posting up course 1 -- an appetizer that has evolved into an annual tradition among my friends. I created this a few years back out of a love for all things butternut squash, parmesan cheese and cherry. Sounds odd, but you'll be coming back for more.
Butternut Squash Bruschetta w. Pine Nuts & Sour Cherries
1 medium-large butternut squash (roasted, peeled and cubed)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tsp olive oil
1 can cannelini beans (white beans), rinsed and drained
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup sour cherries, jarred in natural juices and drained
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped (1-2 Tablespoons)
½ - ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
salt, to taste
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
1 crusty French or whole wheat baguette
additional olive oil for brushing
Preparation: Cut butternut squash in half, brush with olive oil and roast at 350 (cut side down) for about 30-35 minutes, or until about ¾ the way done (still slightly hard, but able to be cut). For an easy shortcut, places both halves in the microwave for 7-9 minute. Allow squash to cool, peel/cut skin off and cut into small chunks. Heat oil in a deep frying pan/saucepan and sauté onion until translucent. Add in cannelini beans, squash, chicken broth & rosemary -- decrease heat and bring to a medium-low simmer. Add salt to taste, add in cherries, parmesan and pine nuts, cook until majority of broth evaporates and ingredients become warm and “stew-like” – squash should be slightly mashed/slightly chunky.
Cut baguette into thin slices about 1" thick. Arrange on a cookie sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Toast in oven at 350 for 4-5 minutes. Place a spoonful of squash mixture onto bruschetta toasts and arrange on a serving tray or plate.
Makes 2-3 dozen bruschetta
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