- a fancy plant based appetizer; grilled bread, creamy cheese, sweet earthy tones of rosemary squash, fennel seeds and crisped sage
A simple but stellar appetizer for your Holiday dinner. I love having dinner parties with lots of appetizers and no-fuss finger foods, best served with good wine. Here is one that brings some of our favorite fall and winter flavors together in about 30 minutes. —The Crafted Bite by Priti
Butternut squash, rosemary, pink salt crystals, pepper, Tree Line brand or any tree nut spreadable cheese, toasted fennel seeds, fried sage leaves, baguette, olive oil
Thinly sliced butternut squash, I slice the cubed squash we get at most grocery stores
Tree Nut Cheese, I used Tree Line French style scallion cheese from Whole Foods
Fennel seeds lightly toasted
French baguette sliced diagonally, need 12 crostinis
Pink Salt crystals
In This Recipe
Set the oven to broil.
Slice butternut squash cubes into very thin slices and keep aside. Using a mortar and pestle crush the rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon pink salt crystals, and black pepper into a paste.
In a mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the rosemary paste and mix well. Toss the butternut squash slices and coat well. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and broil on middle rack for 5 minutes. Each oven is different, do keep an eye on the squash so that it doesn’t burn, but the edges will be slightly charred and squash will be tender.
Remove from oven.
Slice the baguette into thin diagonal slices. Take 2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil in a small bowl. Brush about 12 crostinis well with the olive oil. Broil on the lower rack for about 2 minutes, a quick flip of the slices and back in the oven for another minute.
Now, fry the sage leaves. Heat a small pan over moderate heat, add a tablespoon of oil and the sage leaves. They will crisp very quickly. Use a slotted spoon to take them out and let them drain on a paper towel, until ready to use.
In a small bowl, take out the cheese and whip it slightly with a fork and let it sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile in a small pan, toast the fennel seeds on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.
Now that all our components are done, we are ready to assemble the crostini. Layer with a generous amount of tree nut cheese, and cover well with the grilled squash slices. Top each with a few toasted fennel seeds and finish with the fragrant sage leaf.