Thinly sliced, crusty baguette topped with roasted, sweet butternut squash, creamy whipped feta, shallots, za’atar and rich tahini. These Caramelized Butternut Squash Crostini are absolutely delicious and perfect as an easy Thanksgiving appetizer!
Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii friends! How goes it?! Not to be all mushy, but I MISSED you guys!
Okay, so I won’t lie, it WAS nice having a few days away from zee blog. 😇
But I DID miss you!
Hopefully your Halloween was spook-tacular, and you got your fix of chocolate and candy, because today we are moving on to all things Turkey Day terrific.
Well, correction. All things Turkey Day terrific MINUS stuffing, because of Boy’s crazy aversion.
AND minus the actual turkey. AGAIN.
All I could find were BIG ‘ole mamma-jamma cluckers. And a 10 pound turkey for just 2 people is beyond ridiculous. I mean, I like turkey, but I don’t like turkey THAT much.
If you have followed this blog for a length of time you know I had the same exact problem last year. Womp womp.
BUT, have no fear, my friends. I put together a round-up of AMAZING holiday mains last year to make up for it. So I’m going to push that same round-up on you this year. 🙂 From turkey and ham to big juicy roasts, that list will have you covered.
Go let your peepers take a gander. I will wait…..
Okay, sound the alarm and let’s ROCK Thanksgiving, my friends. Starting with this….
Caramelized Butternut Squash Crostini
These Thanksgiving crostini are legit delicious, my friends.
If you are one of those people who loves to stick with your uber traditional Thanksgiving meal, I urge you to take a few chances when it comes to the appetizers portion of your meal.
And specifically, take a chance with THESE.
These butternut squash crostini are a liiiiiiitle outside the box with the za’atar and tahini, but they are totally in the comfy, familiar zone with caramelized squash, feta and toasted carbs.
These orange beauties are a savory sensation, you guys.
Roasted, caramelized, sweet, veggie-candy-like butternut squash; creamy, cheesy, salty whipped feta, garlicky shallots, aromatic za’atar and rich, smooth tahini ALL lovingly arranged on a thinly sliced, crunchy, baked baguette.
Gah!! Appetizer HEAVEN.
Or if you’re like me around a tray of this butternut squash appetizer = dinner perfection. 😉
What is crostini?
Crostini, which means “little toasts” in Italian, are a simple Italian appetizer consisting of small, thin slices of toasted or grilled bread and a topping.
The bread used for crostini is usually a baguette or ciabatta as both are crusty and can hold the weight of toppings without becoming soft and mushy.
The toppings for crostini are pretty limitless and can range from sweet (like this blueberry crostini) or savory (like the crostini topping you see here)
What is the difference between crostini and bruschetta?
While bruschetta and crostini both are types of bread preparations used in Italian antipasto, they are not the same thing.
Bruschetta is made by toasting whole, wide slices of sourdough type bread rubbed with garlic, while crostini are made from smaller, finer-textured bread such as a baguette.
Notes, Tips & Tricks for the best Caramelized Butternut Squash Crostini recipe:
- The whipped feta and tahini drizzle can be prepared a couple days in advance. Just keep them covered and stored in the refrigerator.
- If you want to make this butternut squash appetizer even easier where the prep is concerned, purchase the already diced butternut squash in the produce isle of your grocery store.
- Since the bread portion of crostini is pretty essential, make sure you purchase high quality bread. Go for a fresh baguette from a local bakery, or the bakery section of your grocery store. Slice the bread about ½’’ thick, you don’t want it too thick OR too thin. And DO NOT skip brushing the bread generously with oil before baking.
Amp up the appetizer portion of your Thanksgiving with these Caramelized Butternut Squash Crostini. I guarantee they will be a crowd pleaser!
Until Monday friends, Cheers – Thanksgiving crostini.
How to make Caramelized Butternut Squash Crostini appetizers at home👇
Caramelized Butternut Squash Crostini
- Butternut Squash:
- 2 Cups Butternut Squash – peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 TBS Unsalted Butter , melted
- 1 TBS Light Brown Sugar , packed
- Whipped Feta:
- 8 ounces Good Quality Feta Cheese – at room temperature, crumbled
- 3 ounces whipped cream cheese , at room temperature
- 1 TBS+ ½ tsp Lemon Juice , divided
- 1 TBS Heavy Cream
- 1 Baguette – sliced thinly on the diagonal
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil , for brushing
- 3 ½ TBS Tahini
- 1 Clove Garlic – minced
- ½ tsp Honey
- 1 Shallot – thinly sliced
- Za’atar , to taste
- Fresh Parsley – roughly chopped (optional)
- Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper , to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
- Roast the squash: Place the butternut squash cubes on baking sheet and drizzle with butter and sugar. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients together with your hands and spread out in a single layer. Transfer to the oven and roast, stopping to turn the squash a few times with a spatula, for 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender beginning to caramelize.
- And toast the bread: On a separate baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices and brush generously with oil. During the last 10 minutes of butternut squash roasting, add the crostini to the oven. Bake baguette slices until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the whipped feta: Place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until cheeses are mixed. Add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/8 tsp pepper. Continue to process, scraping down the sides as necessary, until feta is whipped and creamy. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Prepare the tahini: In a small bowl combine the tahini, ½ teaspoon lemon juice, garlic, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until creamy and combined, adding a bit of water if a thinner consistency is desired.
- Assemble the crostini: Arrange the crostini on a serving platter. Spread with whipped feta and top with a spoonful or two of butternut squash and a few slices of shallots. Drizzle with tahini. Sprinkle with za’atar and parsley (if using). Serve and enjoy.
1. The whipped feta and tahini drizzle can be prepared a couple days in advance. Just keep them covered and stored in the refrigerator. 2. If you want to make this appetizer even easier where the prep is concerned, purchase the already diced butternut squash in the produce isle of your grocery store. 3. Since the bread portion of crostini is pretty essential, make sure you purchase high quality bread. Go for a fresh baguette from a local bakery, or the bakery section of your grocery store. Slice the bread about ½’’ thick, you don’t want it too thick OR too thin. And DO NOT skip brushing the bread with generously with oil before baking.
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