Ricotta is a great base for various dishes — especially dips and spreads. To celebrate in-season produce like squash, I combined the two ingredients to make a velvety, sweet and tangy spread to serve on buttery toast. The flavors of cinnamon, maple and roasted squash are paired with crispy sage to bring it all together. This whipped ricotta is ideal served over buttery, toasted bread, but it can also be swirled into pancakes and waffles, or served with fresh berries and granola.
- 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, sliced in 1-inch rings, seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or any neutral oil
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 15 ounces (1¾ cups) whole-milk ricotta
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 12 large sage leaves
- 4 slices thick-cut sourdough
- chopped almonds, for serving
Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Arrange the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.2.
In a large bowl, toss together the sliced squash with oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Once the squash is evenly coated, transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until the squash is caramelized and tender.3.
Once cooked, transfer the squash into a 7-cup food processor and add in the ricotta, maple syrup and salt. Blend until smooth and there are no streaks of ricotta or squash. Set aside.4.
To prepare the fried sage and toasted bread: Place a large pan over medium heat and add in butter. Once the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, add in the sage leaves. Cook on each side for about 20 seconds or until the color darkens slightly. Remove from the butter and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Add in bread slices and toast until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.5.
To assemble, evenly spread the whipped ricotta onto each bread slice and top with fried sage and chopped almonds.