1 sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds)peeled, seeded and cut
into 1-inch dice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices of country bread
Roasted pumpkin seed oil, for brushing
5 sage leaves
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 Granny Smith applehalved, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Fuyu persimmon, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, toss the pumpkin with the honey and the melted butter. Spread the pumpkin on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes, or just until tender; let cool.
Arrange the bread on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven with the pumpkin for about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Brush the toasts generously with pumpkin seed oil and rub with the sage leaves. Spread the pumpkin seeds in a pie plate; toast in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant.
In a bowl, toss the apple with 1/2 tablespoon of the vinegar. In another bowl, toss the pumpkin with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar. Season both with salt and pepper.
Set a crouton on each plate and top with the apple slices. Spoon the pumpkin salad and chopped persimmon over the apple slices. Garnish with the toasted pumpkin seeds and serve.
This subtle salad with roasted pumpkin pairs well with a bright white, such as Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc from Oregon.