We made some local apple and squash purée in the farm kitchen earlier this week, to pair with cabbage and nice protein like pork chops. But, I sprinkled some blue cheese on a bite and the idea for this fall appetizer was born. Seriously if you just want to make the purée I don’t blame you. If you want to bookmark this crostini recipe for fall entertaining (Thanksgiving anyone?) you could easily make the squash and onions, then freeze them ahead of time. I venture to say you might be able to make this with completely local ingredients if you swing by a farmers’ market or one of our awesome pick-up sites.
You can slowly sauté the onions with a pinch of salt and some fat (I used butter because I couldn’t resist) while the bread is toasting, or try our Balsamic Roasted Onions. If you’ve ever had crostini at restaurants it is so easy to make at home. Pick up a baguette and slice to desired thickness. I like my crostini very thin, it’s easier to bite into that way. Toss in a big bowl with olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Toast in the oven until crispy.
At this point the topping options are endless – a pinch of fresh mozzarella and the end of a roasted red pepper were awesome. But, back to the squash. Let the bread cool to room temperature. Top with warm or room temperature squash purée, the onions, and crumbled blue cheese (pre-crumbled cheese makes this easy. Serve with a crisp white wine.
Acorn Squash Crostini
Acorn Squash & Apple Purée (recipe follows)
1 large onion
1/2 cup (roughly) crumbled blue cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice baguette to desired thickness, and transfer slices to a large bowl. Toss bread slices with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a large pinch (about a half teaspoon) of salt. Make sure each piece gets some oil and salt. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 12 – 15 min.
Caramelize the onion. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in over low heat in small sauté pan. Add onions and cook on low until brown and completely soft. Stir occasionally.
Assemble crostini. Spread about a tablespoon of squash purée over each slice of bread (or more if your slices are large). Top each crostini with a pinch of onions and blue cheese.
Apple & Acorn Squash Purée
1 acorn squash, sliced in half, seeds removed
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/2 a large onion or 1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub squash with olive oil, and place cut side down on a baking pan. Bake for 30 -40 minutes until completely softened.
While the squash is cooking, melt the butter over medium low heat, add apples, onions, and water. Cook stirring occasionally until apples are easy to mash with the back of a spoon. Reserve in pan.
Scoop cooked squash into pan with apples and onions. Add stock and cinnamon, and pureé with an immersion blender until desired smoothness. Season with salt if necessary.