Crostini with Roasted Butternut Squash, Ricotta and Preserved Lemon

A preserved lemon relish adds a bright, salty note to these elegant crostini, balancing the flavors of creamy ricotta and sweet squash.

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  • Servings: 24 pieces
KEY: Fall, Winter, Christmas, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Holiday Open House, Thanksgiving, Appetizers/starters, Vegetarian, Web Exclusive, Dinner

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette, cut into about 24 slices (1/2-inch-thick)
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, rind only, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • 1 cup fine-quality ricotta

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 50 minutes, until tender and edges are crisp, tossing once halfway through.
  2. About 15 minutes before the squash is done, arrange the baguette slices on another baking sheet, brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bake in the oven until golden and toasted, 8–10 minutes.
  3. While the squash roasts, make the relish: Stir together the preserved lemon rind, shallots, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. To assemble, spread each crostini with ricotta. Top with a few pieces of butternut squash and a small amount of relish. Arrange the crostini on a serving platter and garnish with the remaining chopped parsley.

Make Ahead

The butternut squash and relish can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated in a separate airtight containers. Reheat the squash on a baking sheet in a 425° oven until warm, about 5 minutes.

Notes

Preserved lemons can be found in Middle Eastern and some specialty foods markets. Or make your own preserved lemons.

Contributed By Photo © Guy Ambrosino Published November 2014

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