I love to pair roasted butternut squash with creamy ricotta and caramelized leeks and serve the combination on crusty toast. Drizzled with thick, balsamic glaze for a little edge, you are left with a satisfyingly rich appetizer that will certainly please all.
Swap option: You could try this with sweet potatoes instead of squash, or goat cheese instead of ricotta. If you don't have leeks, shallots would be a nice alternative.
- 2 cups diced fresh butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- One 12-ounce French baguette, cut into 24 slices
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1½ cups ricotta cheese
- 1½ tablespoons balsamic glaze
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the squash on a baking sheet; drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the pepper and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Toss to coat, and spread in an even layer.
2. Place the bread slices on another baking sheet. Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake until the bread is browned, about 10 minutes, and until the squash is caramelized and tender, 13-15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium. Add the sliced leek and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring often, until the leek begins to caramelize, 8-10 minutes.
4. To assemble the toasts, spread 2 teaspoons of the ricotta on each toast. Top evenly with the leeks and butternut squash; drizzle with the balsamic glaze, and, if desired, sprinkle with sea salt.