Squash Butter Crostini with Blue Cheese, Celery, and Bacon

December 3, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: We recently got a butternut squash in our bi-weekly produce box. My plan was to make a soup like I’d always done every fall, every year. I wanted to try something a little different though: something with the same flavors, plus a few surprises, that would be an easy appetizer to put together for a party. So I switched things around a bit. Blue cheese and butternut squash are meant to be, so that went into the squash purée. The crouton moved to center stage and reinvented itself as crostini. And the celery came on board to add the splash of color and a textural element this little bite needed. So this holiday season, surprise your friends and loved ones with this unexpected twist on a seasonal classic.Callie Canlas

Food52 Review: This is a great recipe -- all of my taste-testers loved these and copied down the recipe to make for their holiday parties! The celery added crunch and helped to lighten everything up -- a great addition even though I don't usually care for it. Next time I make them, I might decrease the cheese by an ounce to let the squash shine a bit more. LauriL

Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients

  • 8 cups butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 to 2 ounces blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup celery hearts, sliced thin
  • 1 baguette, cut into half-inch slices (about 36 pieces)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Combine squash, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Make sure all of the squash is coated in the oil. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges of the squash start to brown. Set aside.
  3. While the squash is cooking, start the bacon in a cold pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 7 to 10 minutes until bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside. (I like to have bacon grease on hand, so I save it in the fridge for other recipes instead of throwing it out.)
  4. In a food processor, combine roasted squash, blue cheese, and butter. Process until smooth. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Set aside.
  5. Place the slices of bread on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes, until toasted.
  6. To assemble the crostini, spread each piece of toasted bread with about a tablespoon of the squash mixture. Top with a bit of bacon, then garnish with the celery and parsley.
  7. Notes: The pre-cut butternut squash found in grocery stores during the holiday season can be a great time saver if you want to spend a few extra bucks. You may end up with some extra squash mixture when all is said and done. It would make a great, easy soup if you added a cup or so of chicken stock.

More Great Recipes:
Bacon|Blue Cheese|Butter|Butternut Squash|Celery|Parsley|Squash|Vegetable|Serves a Crowd|Christmas|Fall|Thanksgiving

Reviews (26) Questions (1)

26 Reviews

cpc December 10, 2017
Is the butter cold or at room temp, or melted?
 
Cordova November 7, 2017
Just came across this yummy-looking recipe. A question: how is the squash broken down before measuring the 8 cups? Is it peeled and cut in cubes or chunks? If so, approx what size? Thanks in advance!!
 
Anthea November 4, 2017
i am a cheese lover, but blue cheese has never been my favorite. Is there another cheese you could recommend to substitute?
 
Author Comment
Callie C. November 5, 2017
Maybe try cambazola? It's a mix of camembert and gorgonzola (a sweeter and more mild blue cheese). It would definitely make it much more creamy.
 
Anthea November 8, 2017
I love cambazola- great idea! Thanks so much, looking forward to trying this.
 
chris July 29, 2016
I served this at a dinner party, last night, and it was a huge hit. I had two bags of frozen butternut squash, which were less than 8 cups, but oh well. After roasting them the night before (day time temps currently in the triple digits, I bake in the evening!) I blitzed them with blue cheese and butter, then decided to add the chopped celery and parsley, to save time the next day. It was absolutely delicious at room temperature, on freshly made crostini, garnished with a few slivers of prosciutto (I didn't have bacon) and some chopped chives. My husband snarfled the leftover mixture, on toast, for his breakfast. Great recipe, thanks!
 
Janet December 28, 2014
I want to make this for a New Year's Eve party i'm having, and was wondering if anyone had an idea of what the conversion of 8 cups of squash would be in ounces ? I bought butternut squash already cut up from my local Costco and it is a 32 ounce container. Thanks in advance, can't wait to try the recipe !
 
Christi W. November 26, 2014
I'm headed to Thanksgiving tomorrow with my (quasi-new) boyfriend's family, and was looking for a dish to bring that still wouldn't mess with their pre-ordained menu. Saw this, and immediately thought it was the perfect idea. Tonight I made the squash butter, and I ended up adding just a tick more blue cheese than called for (about 2-3 oz). The result? I had to consciously stop myself from spooning the entire batch into my mouth. Can't wait for tomorrow!
 
Author Comment
Callie C. November 27, 2014
It's on my list again this year too! So glad you like it! Hope the rest of the party does too :)
 
Leigh4747 October 13, 2014
This looks amazing! I'll be making this for a holiday cocktail party this year.<br />Would it be possible to make the squash mixture ahead of time?
 
Author Comment
Callie C. October 13, 2014
Thanks so much! Making the squash ahead of time is a GREAT idea...maybe 1 or 2 days before would be ideal. I'd probably reheat it on the stovetop on medium low heat and it's served at room temperature so it shouldn't take long to take off the chill :) I'd love to know how it turns out for you!
 
Nadia M. April 22, 2014
So, I love every ingredient listed in this recipe but I really can't stand celery. Seems like it's for texture and freshness. Any substitution ideas?
 
Author Comment
Callie C. April 22, 2014
You're right about the celery being used for texture and freshness...here's a couple ideas of things to use instead: more parsley would be a good choice, even using the whole leaves instead of chopping it at all or maybe try some thinly sliced green onion. That could offer the texture and freshness with just a slightly different flavor profile. Hope that's helpful!
 
Grazor January 3, 2014
This looks totally scrummy. I wished I would have come across this before the holidays.
 
Kristen K. December 29, 2013
I tested out this recipe and LOVED it! These were my comments after doing so: With the holidays approaching, I wanted a recipe which would be a perfect hors d’oeuvre for Christmas dinner. Tired of the usual spinach dip in a bread boule and chips/French onion dip, this recipe hollered out to me. As I am not a culinary genius in the least, I wanted something which could be achieved, even by the less-than-savvy home cook. Mission accomplished. The finished product had a subtle sweet taste and eye-catching presentation was easily achieved. Great for tapas and is perfect for dinner guests, even vegetarians (sans bacon).
 
Author Comment
Callie C. January 1, 2014
So glad you tried it out Kristen! Happy New Year!
 
Kristen K. January 1, 2014
Thanks, Callie. Great recipe! Happy New Year to you, also!
 
HomeSickChef December 27, 2013
It seems like a lot of butternut (8 cups), which makes 8 -12 servings about ¾ cup of butternut per serving? I would think that would drown out the small about of butter and blue cheese. Has anyone made this?
 
Author Comment
Callie C. December 27, 2013
Hey there HomeSickChef! Eight cups does sound like a lot. It's what a medium butternut squash yielded when I broke it down. It does loose quite a bit of volume during the roasting process. One tester thought maybe there was too much blue cheese. Try it out and let me know what you think. Happy Holidays!
 
QueenSashy December 25, 2013
Yum! Cannot wait to try them out. Congrats on the CP!
 
Author Comment
Callie C. December 27, 2013
Thanks so much and way to go being chosen as one of the finalists!
 
TheWimpyVegetarian December 19, 2013
And now I just went to check out yours! I really enjoyed your writing! And love the curating you're doing.
 
Author Comment
Callie C. December 19, 2013
It's all still really new and the real website it due to launch the middle of January, but it's the most fun I've had in years!
 
TheWimpyVegetarian December 19, 2013
This looks sooooo good!!
 
Author Comment
Callie C. December 19, 2013
Thanks so much Susan! Great blog by the way :)
 
TheWimpyVegetarian December 19, 2013
Thanks so much Callie. Now you really made my day :-)