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Butternut Squash & Ricotta Bruschettas

  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and ½- to ¾-inch-diced
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups sliced yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure Grade A maple syrup
  • Apple cider or apple juice (optional)
  • 6 (½-inch-thick) slices rustic country bread, toasted
  • 1½ cups fresh ricotta, homemade or store-bought

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the squash, 2½ tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and the red pepper flakes on a sheet pan, toss, and spread out in one layer. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until very tender and starting to brown on the edges, tossing once with a metal spatula during roasting. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium (10-inch) sauté pan. Add the onions and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown. Add the vinegar and maple syrup and simmer over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes, until the liquid is reduced. When the squash is tender, add it to the sauté pan with the onions and mash it lightly with a dinner fork. If the mixture is a little dry, add a few tablespoons of apple cider to moisten. Taste for seasonings and reheat over low heat, if necessary.

To assemble the bruschettas, spread a thick layer of ricotta on each toast and spoon the squash mixture on top. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

Copyright 2016, Cooking for Jeffrey, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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