BUTTERNUT SQUASH CROSTINI WITH POMEGRANATE SALSA
This is a great way to impress your guests during the holidays with minimal effort. Crunchy crostini are spread with a delicious mix of butternut squash puree and Nut Chee*se, and topped with a festive pomegranate and mint salsa. The squash puree, salsa and crostini can all be made ahead of time; you’ll simply have to assemble when ready to serve.
Makes 20-25 crostini
Butternut squash crostini
- 1 ½ cups (350 g.) butternut squash puree (*see note below)
- ¼ cup (75 g.) Nut Chee*se
- 5-6 tablespoons unsweetened oat milk (or other unsweetened plant-based milk of your choice)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 baguette bread (sourdough, ciabatta, or any of your favourite bread)
- 1 cup (135 g.) fresh pomegranate seeds (from about 1 medium-sized pomegranate)
- 2 tbsp minced red onion
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- A pinch of chili flakes (optional)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
*Note: There are many different ways to make squash puree; here is our favourite. Cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds, and place cut sides down on a baking sheet or baking dish. Cook at 375°F for 30 to 40
minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the oven and size of squash, so keep an eye on it), until very tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Scoop out the flesh and use a potato masher, food processor or blender to puree.
1. Combine the squash puree, Nut Chee*se, oat milk (start with 4 tablespoons and add more as needed) and sea salt in a blender or food processor and blend on high. Add more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. We’re looking for a smooth, spreadable puree. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix together the pomegranate seeds, olive oil, vinegar, mint, chili flakes (if using) and salt. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Use a serrated knife to slice the baguette into ¼-inch to 1/2-inch thick pieces.
4. Arrange the bread pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Lightly brush the tops with olive oil (you should use about 2 tablespoons total). Bake in the oven for 4-6 minutes. The crostini are ready when the edges begin to brown but the center is still pale. Don’t overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. If prepared ahead of time, keep the crostini at room temperature in an airtight container until ready to assemble.
5. When ready to serve, spread the squash mixture onto the crostini, then add a spoonful of pomegranate salsa on top. Drizzle with extra olive oil if desired, and serve immediately.