Monday, January 21, 2013

Butternut Squash Crostini

This was a wonderful start to our Sunday night dinner - a toasted slice of a baguette topped with a thin slice of pancetta and topped with perfectly sauteed butternut squash.  When just about done, the squash got some sliced garlic and crushed red pepper added to round it out.  The final addition to the squash was an equal amount of sherry vinegar and honey.  This crostini was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy from the butternut squash mixture, the crunch from the crostini and the saltiness from the pancetta.  The garnish of fried sage leaves was the perfect ending.

Butternut Squash Crostini
Makes 4 servings

4 thin slices pancetta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 sage leaves
2 cups diced, peeled butternut squash
Kosher salt and freshly ground black peper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
8 baguette slices, toasted

Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towel, then break each piece in half.

Add the olive oil to the skillet.  Add the sage and fry until crisp, about 20 seconds.  Remove the sage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Discard all but 1 tablespoon oil from the skillet.

Increase the heat under the skillet to high.  Add the suash and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally until golden and tender, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 more minute, then stir in the vinegar and honey.  Top the baguette slices with a piece of the fried pancetta, top with the squash mixture and finally place a fried sage leaf as a garnish.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine, Jan/Feb 2013 

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