Butternut squash is in the peak of its season during cooler months in California, and this Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Crostini recipe is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. This is a great appetizer for a dinner party or even any night at home when you’re craving savory Fall flavors. I love this recipe for its delicious flavor, but especially for its simplicity. Roasting the butternut squash and shallot carmelizes the edges of the squash and concentrates the overall flavor of the dish. While I provide the specific instructions below, the basic gist is: roast squash with shallots until caramelized and soft, mash them in a bowl with lemon juice and salt, and spread the mixture onto toasted baguette slices. Top with arugula or prosciutto, or both. Voila! Add freshly squeezed lemon for brightness and acidity and crushed red chili flakes for a little heat. Here is a video on how to make this gorgeous dish – let’s make it together!
If you aren’t familiar with crostini, they are thin toasted slices of rustic bread topped with various fixins’, from cheeses, charcuterie, spreads, dips, you name it. The word itself is Italian and you should probably do a chef’s kiss when you tell your friends you’re making them crostini. They are slightly thinner than a bruschetta, but you could probably refer to this recipe as toasts, tartines, crostini, or bruschetta – because no matter how you slice it (literally) you can’t go wrong with a toasted piece of bread and delicious toppings. Check out my suggested riffs below the recipe for this particular dish. I’m sharing easy swaps to suit your dietary preferences and needs.
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on bread
- 5 Cups cubed butternut squash (From roughly 2.5 lbs of butternut squash)
- ½ Cup thinly sliced shallot (about 1 very large shallot or two medium shallots)
- Kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Juice of ½ lemon, plus more lemon wedges for serving
- 1 16-Ounce rustic loaf or baguette , sliced into ¼ - ½" slices (I love sourdough bread from our local bakeries)
- Prosciutto, thinly sliced (you can find this pre sliced at most grocery stores)
- Topping suggestions: Handfuls of arugula, thinly sliced prosciutto, lemon wedges, flaky salt, freshly cracked black pepper, crushed red chili flakes.
- Preheat oven to 425*.
- Toss cubed butternut squash and sliced shallot with olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat. Arrange on a lined baking sheet, making sure to leave space between cubed squash (if the pan is crowded they will steam which we don't want - we want them to caramezlie).
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until butternut squash has bits of golden brown on the outside and is fork tender.
- When squash are done roasting, remove from oven and set aside. Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil and bake on a sheet pan in the oven for a few minutes until slightly toasted, remove when toasted to your liking.
- Transfer roasted squash and shallot to bowl with juice of ½ a lemon and mash with a fork until it becomes spredable. Season generoulsy with kosher salt. Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
- Top each piece of bread with a swoosh of the mashed butternut squash. Top some slices with arugula or prosciutto, and a some with a combiation of the two. Finish with generous squeezes of fresh lemon juice, flaky salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Add crushed red chili flakes for some heat.
- Arrange on a large platter or serving board and enjoy!
A FEW NOTES ON RIFFS:
- The arugula: If arugula isn’t your thing or you don’t have it on hand, leave it out! Or, replace it with a few pinches of chopped fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley.
- The prosciutto: If you don’t eat meat or specifically, pork, simply omit the prosciutto and season with extra flaky salt and grated parmesan if desired. Crisped up bacon bits are also insanely delicious in place of prosciutto.
- The shallots: Use red or yellow onion instead if needed.
A FEW SWAPS FOR YOUR DIETARY NEEDS + PREFERENCES:
- To make this vegetarian: Omit the prosciutto.
- To make this vegan: Omit the prosciutto and grated parmesan.
- To make this dairy-free: Omit the grated parmesan.
- To make this gluten-free: Use your favorite gluten-free bread! Or repurpose the roasted squash and shallot mixture as a dip for crudites.
Did you make this recipe?
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