squash toasts with ricotta and cider vinegar Recipes

squash toasts with ricotta and cider vinegar

Lest you operate under the idea that when I go in the kitchen to work on a new recipe, adorable forest creatures gather around, bringing me my whisks and measuring cups, tiny birds whisper in my ear all the right seasoning notes and then, when I snap my last photo, my team of minions file silently in to wash the dishes while I go out on the deck to ponder my next free-form food essay, the single, completely unexciting reason I am late to share a new recipe this week is because I was chasing an exasperating salted peanut butter caramel-flavored ghost. Five rounds in, I have concluded that while there are no bad salted peanut butter caramels, the one I want isn’t yet within my grasp and it was time to take a break. One cannot live on peanut butter, cream, butter and brown sugar alone, after all, fun as it was for a few days there.

what you'll need + a new non-crooked label for me
peeling the squash

And so I shifted focus to the kind of simple dinner I’d love to eat before or after Friday’s candy deluge, a seasonal, cozy and hearty entry in one of my favorite food categories: meals masquerading as toasts. But don’t be deceived by the name; these are no simple, wan crostini. A winter squash of your choice is roasted in the oven while on the stove, you cook an onion with cider vinegar and maple syrup until it’s soft and jammy. You use a fork to half-mash this tangy confit together with the roasted squash, a pile it on bread you’ve toasted in olive oil and spread with ricotta or soft goat cheese. Don’t forget the mint on top; it makes something already good unquestionably perfect.

sliced squash

roasted squash
half-cooked onions
a jammy delicious onion mess
half mash the squash and onions together
toasting the thick slabs of bread

I realize I’m about the last person on the internet to discover this famous recipe from Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It’s served at the amazing ABC Kitchen, but when I’m there I’ve always been too busy gobbling up the veggie burger, mushroom and egg pizza or roasted carrot and avocado salad while pining over the dishes and chandeliers to order it. I will be making up for lost time henceforth, as this recipe perfectly embodies everything great that can happen when a famous chef pays serious attention to vegetables. If you have in your family someone like my husband, who is distrusting of both goat cheese and vegetables cooked with any sweet ingredients, or someone like my son, who we had to tell this was sweet potato to get him to eat it, you will be pleasantly surprised at how crowd-pleasing those tart onions weaving through the sweet squash are, and how filling of a meal it makes. We had it with a kale caesar salad (I use a riff on this dressing and ribbons of lacinato leaves), some Russian-pleasing pickled garlicky red peppers and sliced cucumbers and there’s enough leftover for it to be our lunch today, and look at that! It must be lunchtime already.

squash and goat cheese toasts

More toasts: In the archives, Leek Toasts with Blue Cheese, Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast, Eggplant Salad Toasts, Creamed Mushrooms on Butter-Chive Toasts and a Scrambled Egg Toast

But I want candy! And candy you shall have. I’ve gathered the candy recipes on this site to date on Pinterest this week, and hope it will give you some ideas if you’re looking for something homemade. My favorites? Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats and Apple Cider Caramels, of course. But I would never turn a Buckeye away, I mean, I’m not crazy. [Smitten Kitchen Halloween Candy on Pinterest]

One year ago: Spinach and Egg Pizzettes
Two years ago: Apple Cider Caramels (my favorite candy to date, and possibly forever)
Three years ago: Homesick Texan Carnitas
Four years ago: Buckeyes
Five years ago: Baked Chicken Meatballs
Six years ago: Pink Lady Cake, Cabbage and Mushroom Galette and Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Seven years ago: Cranberry Caramel and Almond Tart
Eight years ago: My Favorite Pumpkin Muffins and The Easiest Baked Mac-and-Cheese

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Blue Sky Bran Muffins
1.5 Years Ago: Spring Vegetable Potstickers
2.5 Years Ago: Bacon, Egg and Leek Risotto
3.5 Years Ago: Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon

Squash Toasts with Ricotta and Cider Vinegar
Adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen, via NYTimes Cooking

The original recipe uses the larger amount of olive oil (which felt like more than I needed), just 1/4 cup cider vinegar and maple syrup (but I preferred it with slightly more vinegar and slightly less maple syrup) and slightly different cooking times — for me, the onions were done more quickly but the squash needed more time to soften. If your store sells peeled, already chunked butternut squash, you can absolutely use it here instead (buy 2 1/2 pounds and cut it more thinly before roasting, for speed). Finally, my favorite bread for this and most savory things is the miche, a rustic whole wheat-rye sourdough baked in massive rounds, sold at either Balthazar or at the Le Pain Quotidien chain. Both can be purchased in quarters (the size of a small loaf), inexpensively. Note: I’ve updated the recipe (post-publication) to reflect that really great commenter tip (thanks, Anne!) that you can spare yourself the squash-peeling step as once the squash is roasted, it’s easy to cut the soft flesh from the peel, much easier than peeling it beforehand.

Serves 4 as a main, 8 as an appetizer. Takes about 45 minutes.

1 2 1/2- to 3-pound kabocha or other yellow-fleshed squash (such as delicata, acorn or butternut, which I used)
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes, more or less to taste
Coarse sea or kosher salt
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup (though I’ll probably use 3 tablespoons next time)
4 slices country bread, 1-inch thick
1/2 cup (4 ounces) ricotta, goat cheese, feta or mascarpone
4 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

Heat oven to 450. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. No need to peel your squash (as shown above), just halved, seed and cut your squash into 1/4-inch thick slices. Toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 to 2 teaspoons salt (Vongerichten recommends 2 teaspoons; I used a bit less) and chile flakes until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to prepared sheet and roast until tender and slightly colored, anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes (depending on the density of the squash you use), flipping once about 2/3 of the way through. Once tender, you can cut the flesh from the skin and discard it. Leave roasted squash on the tray.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add vinegar and syrup and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until onions are jammy and broken down, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Pile onions on top of roasted squash, still on their baking sheet. Use a fork to gently half-mash the mixture; I like this best when the mixture is not uniformly combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil per slice of bread, and cook bread until just golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Spread cheese on toasts, heap with the squash-onion mixture, sprinkle with coarse salt and garnish with mint.

Do ahead: Now that we’ve finished lunch, I can note with great confidence that these reheat wonderfully, even fully assembled, with none of the sog you’d expect from day-old stuff on bread. (It helps if you use a sturdy bread, of course.) Reheat on a baking sheet in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.

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177 comments on squash toasts with ricotta and cider vinegar

  1. Broken link to what I assume is Jacob dressed in his Halloween finest. Of all the links to be broken…Incidentally, I have an already peeled butternut squash in the fridge — I’d been eyeing an Ottolenghi recipe of butternut squash, tossed with feta and cinnamon, topped with a Brussels sprouts salsa made with sumac. I digress — I’ve been eyeing this ABC recipe for more than a year now. What to do, what to do…

  2. I love ABC kitchen! It’s one of my faves. I have a bunch of butternut squashes left over from my CSA, and have been looking for a creative recipe to make something with them. This looks perfect, and so satisfying. I love all of your vegetarian recipes. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Patrice

    Holy Hell. I was JUST dreaming about this dish the other day and had made a mental reminder to scour the internet for the recipe! Thank you, mind reader…I mean…Deb! I cannot wait to make this!!

  4. Aly

    Can’t wait to try this! You have single-handedly taught me to cook GOOD food and this happens to be my husband’s favorite dish of all. We go to ABC every year around this time to share a squash toast (and a mushroom pizza) (and a Manhattan) (or three). It will definitely be a good Shabbat-oween in our house this week!

  5. Zach

    Squash loves goat cheese! Just add acid (as vinegar here, or say, tomatoes in a pasta setting). Toast for dinner is something I can get behind.

  6. Georgi

    This looks amazing, and I will be making this weekend with kale Caesar, thank you very much. Made fall-toush last weekend and yum! It was like winter panzanella, just much easier and faster. Loved it. That said, can you please circle back to the attempts at salted peanut butter caramels? I know you can do it, Deb! Apple cider caramels are the greatest! recipe! ever!, and salted peanut butter caramels?! Yum. I assume there’s a reason you’re putting them to bed, but I hope you’ll try again. No pressure. :)

  7. Anne

    I love it when I have everything I need to make for a recipe I want to make right now, and this is going to be supper, atop the sunflower seed rye bread I saw on David Lebovitz’s blog today. Just one note, though, for what it’s worth: when I roast squashes or pumpkins I never bother to peel them first; much easier to roast in the skins, cut in half, and just scoop the flesh out. Since we grow (and cook) something on the order of 100 winter squashes every year, that’s a whole lot of time to save!

  8. I am living proof, you’re not the last person to have come across this one! Luckily, I have a big haul of butternut squashes waiting to be dealt with and only one recipe in the queque to try out – apart from my favourite simple roast squash. Great, because just those browned onions make my mouth water like crazy. N.

  9. Emily

    If you use delicata (my true squash love), do you need to peel it for this, do you think? Or is it good unpeeled as it usually is in other preparations?

    1. deb

      Emily — It won’t mash as well with the skin on, but the skin is of course totally edible. (Frankly, other squash skins are too, but not as thin and pleasant as delicata.) However, I’m going to add a note that the squash can be roasted with skin on (as an earlier commenter smartly suggested) and then cut or scraped from the skin, easy-peasy.

  10. Liz

    I have raw peeled squash in my fridge and was desperately wondering what to do with it tonight! Deb, you’re a lifesaver, as I was bored just thinking about plain roasting it. Thanks for dinner saving ideas!

  11. Courtney

    Speaking of crockpots, I wonder if you could make the onions in advance in the crockpot. I know you can caramelize onions overnight in the crockpot. I might have to test this out the next time I’m stocking caramelized onions in my freezer.

  12. Maro

    yay! i was planning to make your roasted squash/lentil dish from a previous halloween post for my party on friday, but really wanted to find the good beluga (black) lentils and hadn’t so far. this is a great, and frankly simpler for me, alternative and i’m psyched to try it (added bonus, the tag i just made for this dish reads “Guts Ragout” — it is a way better name than anything i could think of for the squash/lentil dish). :)

  13. Ups, I forgot to add: please go back to work on those peanut butter salted caramels, I can’t stop thinking about them? And shouldn’t they be dipped in chocolate, just for good measure? For now, I think, I’ll make the apple cider caramels again and (im)patiently await the peanut manna. Happy Halloween to you, Alex & Jacob.

  14. deb

    Salted peanut butter caramels — Alex and I have discussed it (while eating them) and he thinks I am wrong, that this final batch is excellent and I just shouldn’t call them caramels because they’re… something else. So, stay tuned. I will (woe is me) buy more peanut butter, and butter, and cream, and see if we can make another go of it. :)

    [salted peanut butter… penuche? candy? squares? caramelized peanut butter candies?]

  15. Matt

    On the subject of peeling squash, is there a reasonable way to peel an acorn squash that you’ve found? I love that fall is here because my squash game is out of control. Decorative gourds, baby.

  16. Lauren

    “Pile onions on top of roasted squash”… my favorite sentence in the entire recipe. I could stop right there. The cheese and mint, ( what a combo—-yowza!) however will force me to forge on. Thanks to Molly for those Ottolenghi links- ooh, ooh, ooh, ain’t fall grand?

  17. Vegetables on toast is the best — it feels very grownup, and not at all like you’re eating an unfinished sandwich for dinner.

    I made a href=”http://www.bitesoutoflife.com/2014/09/24/autumn-crostini-kale-squash/”>something similar not so long ago — butternut squash pureed with roasted garlic and balsamic, then topped with greens and feta!

  18. JanetP

    Okay, here’s a question. When I peel butternut squash, I get squash moisture all over my hands and it sticks to me and I cannot wash it off to save my life. It’s the texture of Elmer’s glue, only it stays put. I usually bake squash whole, but hubby likes them peeled when I do a veggie roast. How do you keep your hands from getting disgusting when you peel raw squash? Is it just me?

    1. deb

      Hi JanetP — That definitely happens to other people, too. Including me! For years, I never had a problem. Now it’s icky. So, I’ll use gloves (I should have mentioned this; I used them when peeling this one). However, even easier, as Mary mentioned, is the updated instructions which gets you out of peeling.

  19. JanetP–it’s not just you. I usually go for other winter squash (delicata, red kuri, kabocha, acorn, carnival) and find them to have less of the sticky ooze. Otherwise, don’t peel it and scoop the flesh out as has been suggested above.

    Deb-this looks wonderful, and you are not the last person on the internet to discover it. I am just learning about it from you :)

  20. Aarthi

    I love the idea of squash toast. I am making your fall fatoush today so in a few days we will eat this for dinner. Regarding the peanut butter ??, when we were growing up in India there was this rage of softish candies with nuts or coffee in them. The coffee one was aptly if unimaginatively named coffee bite and kickstarted my love for coffee. I guess that’s my long winded way of saying it definitely sounds like a wonderful candy.

  21. SAJ

    I can’t help but observe that there isn’t a category on your Recipes link for Meals Masquerading As Toasts. Clearly there should be because these ARE really great kinds of meals. :)

  22. The butternut squash ickiness is apparently from something in the juices, and there’s even a recognized kind of contact dermatitis that some people get from handling the flesh (but not the outer skin) of butternut squash. It’s very strange!

  23. LitProf

    This is a lovely recipe. Made it tonight with a combination of butternut squash and sweet potato, and I was out of ricotta so I made three different variations on Rosemary olive oil flatbread. I topped the first with goat cheese, the second with buffalo mozzarella, and on the third, I topped the sweet potato onion mixture with hatch chile salsa and then aged shaved Parmesan. I look forward to making this again with different breads and cheeses. Thanks, Deb, as always!

  24. kiley

    i made it! i made it! and i made it with kabocha which was dessert grade sweet and need not of maple syrup. (also, the only loaf on hand was cranberry walnut so i didn’t want to sweeten it excessively.) but i couldn’t go without the maple syrup taste so drizzled a thin squiggle before devouring :D thank you!

  25. Anne

    Oh! Fall! Why must you come but once a year. I, like many here, have already cut into my first butternut and can’t wait to add it to everything, and this looks like the perfect start. Those onions are gorgeous! I don’t ever seem quite patient enough for that color, but I am really, really going to try this time. Really. Thank you, as always, for the inspiration Deb. You da bomb!

  26. This, my lovely, is the most perfect recipe ever. I have some Rosary lemon goats cheese in the fridge and some home made focaccia. Conveniently there is also 3/4 of a butternut left over too which has made me feel guilty every time I saw it sitting there, gleaming in the veg drawer. I now have a use for it that feels something less than ‘making do’.

  27. NaturallyCurlie

    I take all my winter squash and poke some holes in them with a fork and microwave for 3 minutes. Turn and do another 3 minutes. Let them cool and they’re easy peasy to peel, remove seeds and then cut into any shape and size you’d like and then roast or prepare anyway you’d like.

  28. Anusha

    This looks amazing and I’m definitely going to try it this week.

    Came across the most amazing brussels sprouts dish from Alta (10th bw 5th & 6th) this week. Soft on the inside with the perfect amount of crisp on the outside. Granny smith apples, some form of balsamic reduction (maybe some honey?), crème fraiche, topped with crushed pistachios… heaven on earth. I thought of asking if you could add that to your exploratory repertoire…

  29. Articul8er

    I love this recipe! I first saw it on a NYTimes video and became completely obsessed. It motivated me to learn to make fresh ricotta for the complete effect (thank you for your lesson!). I will try it with your modifications — what a great excuse to make it again!

  30. Leslie

    Deb, it never ceases to amaze me how well you can predict what I want to make/eat! My 7-month no-kitchen sojourn is finally at its end, with my cooktop finally becoming operational yesterday. This dish is on my weekend menu – thank!

  31. Ronnie

    My daughter used to wait tables at ABC and I loved eating there. The squash toast is one of my faves and I am so excited to have the recipe! If anyone shops at Wegmans, they have cut, peeled squash packaged and ready to go.

  32. Shiphrah

    I beg to differ. Anything that involves salting something sweet by definition IS BAD! Bad, bad, bad! Disgusting. I do not understand this current craze for spoiling both the salty and the sweet by combining them. Bleaaaaghhh

  33. Katie

    I made this last night, as I was taken immediately with the recipe and had three kabocha squashes in need of roasting. It. Was. Phenomenal. I’m already craving it for every meal. I made the dish with goat cheese instead of the ricotta (highly recommend this, though I’m sure the ricotta is delicious, too). MMMMM thank you for the great squash recipe!!

  34. Alison

    I have some bacon left to use up, and I’m wondering what you think about putting some crumbled bacon on top of these? They sound delicious, and I can’t wait to try this recipe tonight!

  35. Beth Eisenberg

    I don’t like the thin watery quality of butternut and so many squash are ore appealing and don’t need peeling.
    I wouldn’t peek corn, I would roast it and eat it out of the shell but if you feel like you want to peel, just micro it for a few minutes

  36. Liz

    Made this last night and didn’t change a thing. It was delicious and looked oh-so-fancy, and I loved eating something so autumnal – squash, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup? Yum! Served it with a green salad with pears and craisins (to be even more autumnal) and an Italian sausage on the side. I also liked eating little bites of the sausage with the squash toast, as squash and sausage are always a good combo. Thanks for a great recipe – this is going in the regular rotation, and I could imagine putting those delicious onions on other things as well.

  37. My sister makes a butternut squash soup with caramelized onions and some beer that is pretty amazing. These toasts look delicious and perfect for this time of the year. Now I have to go out and get the squash and serve it as an appetizer this weekend. I can already taste it. :)

  38. CarolJ

    JanetP – I look for butternut squash with long, straight, sturdy “necks” and smaller “bulb” sections. I trim the ends and cut the squash crosswise where neck joins bulb, Then I set the neck vertically on my cutting board and, using a chef’s knive, slice off the peel from top to bottom. The bulb part can be done the same way, following the curve. Then I cut into slices or chunks. Much less hand contact.

  39. Tiffany

    When I opened my email this morning and saw this recipe in the title I thought, “Ugh, that sounds awful, I’II never make that.” Guess what I’m eating right now? I just had to drive 30 minutes to buy a butternut squash and some goat cheese. This thing is absolutely delicious. So what do I know right?!

  40. Liz

    Thank you! I turned all these components into a big kale and barley bowl, topped with the onions and squash, plus dried cherries and almonds. It was amazing.

  41. Sara McH

    I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS. You were right that it’s much more filling than it seems like it should be.

    However: the slice-roast-then peel technique didn’t work out for me. Removing the skin from the roasted slices was time-consuming and a little difficult. I couldn’t do it with the fork while mashing (because that just broke up the skin into smaller pieces), I had to do each slice by hand. Next time, I think I’ll do what others have suggested, and cut the squash in half, seed it, roast it, and scoop out the flesh.

    Did anyone else have luck peeling the roasted slices? Was it just me?

  42. Helen

    Our family has a favorite holiday recipe called “Squash Puff”, made with roasted butternut squash, topped with buttered bread crumbs. The recipe calls for diced onions, but only cooked until transparent. I’m thinking that maple vinegar carmelized onions would be a delicious substitution in this “whiffle”. (According to Erma Bombeck, that’s what you call a souffle that cheats, due to the addition of baking powder and flour). I will have to consult with family, though, because they will be expecting the same smooth, light, squasy-tasting favorite as always. Perhaps the onions could be a surprise layer in the middle? Let me know if you would like this recipe to play with, Deb, as it is an old Southern casserole, which doesn’t even stipulate butternut squash. It has become a perennial holiday favorite in the homes of family friends, and I am expected to produce it for Michigan relatives on American Thanksgiving. We already enjoyed it for Canadian Thanksgiving, and thank heavens there were some leftovers.

  43. PippaS

    Made this last night for Hallowe’en to accompany our witches’ soup (pureed pea and spinach soup with curly pasta – amori- and quails eggs for eyeballs). The green-orange contrast looked fab and tasted delicious; I only had feta in the fridge, which made for an amazing sweet-sour-salty combo. I used much less maple syrup, btw, and it was perfect. I also only brushed my bread with oil then griddled in a ridged pan, rather than fry in the oil – a bit lighter, still delish. Thanks Deb! great idea

  44. Gina

    I just made this for a decadent autumnal lunch, it was incredible! I used a teaspoon of honey instead of the maple syrup because maple syrup is prohibitively expensive in the UK, it gave it a nice sweetness and I didn’t really miss the maple flavour. My husband was dubious about the mint but I stuck with it and it was a winner :)

  45. Liz

    That looks so wonderful, I want to go get cheese, I have everything else. Non-dairy son is home on leave and he could have bacon or prosciutto. Kabocha is my favorite squash and I have one begging to be baked, as well as the last beets from my garden. Also sage is calling out to me.

    This looks like a perfect Sunday after church food to throw together fast.

    We have a long tradition of serving things like home made pizza or this year burgers to counteract the candy. My kids were always so excited little that if I did not make a favorite food they did not eat on Halloween.

  46. Carrie

    Delicious! I just made this as a side dish for roast chicken instead of on bread. I just scooped a little goat cheese on top of the squash-onion mixture. I roasted the squash completely whole, which was super-easy and turned out well.

  47. I made this tonight and it was a hit. Really delicious, I liked it best with country crusty bakery bread as the recipe calls for. I served it with caraway rye triscuits too.
    A wonderful Autumn appetizer.

  48. Jane

    Thanks for another delicious recipe. I live in California and just wanted to share a tip I learned at the farmers market. If you just cook any kind of squash (including whole pumpkin) for about a half hour whole directly on the oven rack, it makes it miraculously easy to cut and peel it and finish the cooking process.

  49. Tiffany

    I made this today, for myself and a few guests as one of a number of pot luck snacks. Compliments from everyone. It was so easy. I used ricotta cheese (I do not like the taste of goat cheese), and I think it added a really nice level of sweetness to the flavor experience of the dish. I also used red onions instead of yellow and liked the added color that switch provided. I’ll definitely be preparing this as a Thanksgiving appetizer this year.

  50. Karen

    I made this last night – it was amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe Deb! For the squash, I cut in half, removed the seeds, seasoned and roasted. Then when time to mix with the onions, just scooped the sqash out of the skin. the roasting time may be longer depending on the size of your squash.

  51. Dahlink

    Sara McH (#79)–I could have written your comment. I must have spent 20 minutes trying to remove the skin from the roasted slices. I think next time I will simply roast halved squash, then scoop, as several have suggested. I am very wary of slicing any hard squash ever since a friend had to drive herself to the ER after a knife accident involving a winter squash.

    I followed the recipe fairly closely (unusual for me!), but while the oven was warming I roasted the seeds from the butternut and used them as a garnish (along with the mint). My husband raved, so we will be having this again soon.

  52. Becca

    I’ve been reading smitten kitchen for years and this is my first comment. I made this last night and we LOVED it. We had it with a roasted vegetable lentil salad. I used the 3T of maple syrup. I had an herb goat cheese that worked very well. It’s a really interesting and satisfying combination of flavors. I peeled the squash slices after roasting, and to be honest I found it more annoying than peeling first. But maybe that’s because I was more hungry and my kids more whiny by then. Thanks for another great recipe! You will continue to be my first stop for any recipe search.

  53. Sam

    I made this last night Deb and there wasn’t much to say…because the only sounds were sighing and mmmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm – finally – “This is really really good.” Enough said!

  54. Angela

    Just to get back to those caramels (yes yes, roast butternut squash GALLUMPH delicious!), there’s a Brazilian peanut candy called pacoca (with a little dangly accent on the first “c”) that sounds a little bit like what you’re working on. It’s sweet and a little salty, and it has a distinctive crumbly texture that reminds me of halvah. Maybe that’s the way you want to take it? If nothing else, it would make a very enjoyable diversion. :)

  55. Alexis (the second)

    As soon as I saw this I knew I had to make it, but it took me a little to get around to it. Completely worth the wait! I was skeptical about the mint, but it’s perfect so I’m glad I got it. The sourdough I chose is a little extra tangy, can’t decide if it is good or less than ideal.

    I did the roast-and-scoop, and I think I might either peel and slice next time or do one of the hybrid methods, where you roast a bit and then peel. It was messy to scoop and wet, and needed a bit more of the dryness and caramelization from roasting the slices separately.

  56. Gitti

    I made this for lunch yesterday. It was so delicious I served it for dinner as well. I agree that 3 T of maple syrup was more than enough. I used ciabatta, goat cheese, butternut squash and sprinkled with chopped parsley instead of mint. There were so many flavors and textures it was absolutely wonderful. Thank you, Deb! I will definitely be making this again. Side note: I did not peel the squash but found it rather annoying and messy to remove the peel while it was hot but maybe that’s just me. I will peel before cooking next time.

  57. Mel

    Your writing is simply delicious Deb. You make Fall sound delectable (and it is!). This looks to be the yummiest recipe ever-and I had never heard of such a thing either! I cannot wait to make it next week!

  58. Erin

    Made this twice this weekend! Peeled the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler (easy) then cubed and roasted it. I used honey instead of maple syrup but otherwise made as instructed!

  59. I am truly sorry about your frustrations with peanut butter, salted caramel and the drive for CANDY, but I am rather glad you took a break with this treat. Frankly I would rather have this. A most interesting and delicious treatment of toast. A meal that easily works for a single person.

  60. Charla

    Made this for a dinner party last night and they were so good I had them again for breakfast :) Made just as instructed (with goat cheese not ricotta) and served with pork loin, roasted brussles sprouts and a baby kale salad. Perfection. Will put these on the short list for sure!

  61. deb

    Sorry to hear that the roast-then-peel was so annoying. I will update the recipe to reflect your frustration. I figured it could be cut away very easily? But it doesn’t sound like that was happening. I suppose roasting the full half would be the way to go and just scooping out the roasted flesh, but, you’d get less caramelization (those individual slices get nicely colored underneath).

  62. Alex

    This was one of the best things I’ve made all fall. Doubled the amount of onion because I can never get enough. Was going to substitute the ricotta with feta, but couldn’t be more glad I decided against it. Yum. Thanks, Deb!

  63. Robert

    Made it for lunch on the weekend. The apple cider vinegar was funky to I used sherry wine AND the soft goat cheese that I had just purchased was also funky, but I happened to have a harder goat around so I grated on the bread first. This was so so delicious that I am making it again. Very good

  64. I’m so happy I bought that squash today! Going to experiment a bit with this recipe and see what delicious treat comes out…or just make this and eat it! :-) Thanks for sharing this Deb!

    Oh and just a thought, I made this dish with roasted squash and some fresh rosemary last week and thinking now that it could be quite interesting for this recipe (instead of mint..)? Worked very well taste-wise! :-)

  65. Karen

    I made your apple cider caramels again this year. Everyone thinks I’m some sort of goddess. I love it! I tried making pomegranate caramels too, but they just can’t compare to the apple cider ones. :)

    1. deb

      Karen — Oh my goodness; are you in my head? Literally thinking about pomegranate caramels right now. Made cranberry caramels over Halloween and they’re delicious but I thought pomegranate might be tastier. Did you reduce POM juice? What didn’t you like? Thanks!

  66. Dana

    I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! I bought pre-sliced butternut squash, which made the prep time incredibly fast. I also used a baguette from a local bakery and goat cheese instead of ricotta.

  67. Cynthia Acheson

    Delicious! I had to make a few adjustments d to what I had on hand. I was out of. Apple cider vinegar, so I used a combination of regular and white balsamic vinegars, not wanting to miss out on the apple flavour, I peeled, chopped and roasted two Granny Smith apples with the squash, and just made them part of the mash. So good on a dark grainy rye toast with goat cheese, and a nice glass of white wine. Thank you so much for the enlightenment ;)

  68. Georgette

    Deb – Made these last night and they are delicious. Question: Do you think a small dollop of the cheese and squash mix could be placed on those small square pumpernickel breads successfully – so that these would work as a bite sized appetizer? For some reason that was in mind as I prepared them and yet as I saw them on the plate I realized something would have to change for them to work as appetizers as they are pretty hefty in this rendition! Thanks, G

  69. lorie

    I made this without the bread, as an appetizer to serve with crackers. People found it delicious. I was sorry I did not have any fresh mint but it was still good. I mashed the squash/onion into a shallow plate, then topped with goat cheese and seasoning.

  70. Brenda

    Made this exactly to the recipe and it was amazing. I am going to use the leftover purée on pizza dough with goat cheese….can’t wait!

  71. Claudia

    Hi. My name is Claudia and I am a recipe adulterator. I admit that I adulterate to avoid stocking my pantry with items that I don’t usually keep on hand. I subbed the vinegar and maple syrup with a good quality balsamic and the results were more than awesome. I also used goat cheese and just toasted my ciabatta bread instead of frying. Simply amazing flavor combinations!

  72. Zoe

    Mmm this looks perfect for my leftover butternut squash! You should really try the whole what sourdough (Tourte de Meule) at Maison Kayser- at each location they have an on-site bakery where they churn out fresh, homemade, traditional French bread daily. Their baguettes can’t be beat!

  73. illana

    Deb – I just made this. Came home from appointments this morning and was behind on everything and I said to myself: “Don’t think, just start making.” 12 noon passed and I was still stirring onions….”was this a mistake to go to this much work just for my own lunch, given how much stuff I need to get done while the kids are at school? I could just have yogurt and move on…” Made it all anyway.

    I just ate it. WORTH. IT. And I’m keeping [most] of the rest for my lunches for the next couple days. Thanks. xo

    1. deb

      illana — I love your attitude! I so often have so much to do, I find it impossible to even figure out where to start and skip meals. I’m going to try the “don’t think, just start making” thing next time. And I’m glad you liked this.

  74. Mel

    Deb I am.posting for a second time here to tell you I made this last night!! We didn’t feel like toast and I had no ricotta, so we just made the squash part and ate it as a side. OMG!!!! It was insane!! And all the ingredients I normally keep around!! So simple and crazy delicious!! Thank you!! I can’t wait to try it next time with the cheese and toast!!

  75. chez Mere

    Just made this and wow!! Loved it. I couldn’t make up my mind on what cheese to use, so I stirred a little feta into my whole-milk ricotta (I’ve finally come to realize it isn’t worth it to buy anything else), along with just a wee bit of fresh sage. It is a squash dish after all! Excellent meal for the harried med student, and a nice addition to my collection of “Things on Toast for Dinner” recipes

  76. Tina

    I love your recipe! I have an intolerance to onions and they make me really sick. (It started when I was about 30) What could possibly be a good vegetable replacement for caramelization?

  77. Tonia

    I made this last week and it was a huge hit! I skipped the fresh mint because I roasted the butternut squash with rosemary and sage, which made it taste even more earthy and delicious, so I didn’t think the mint flavor would fit. I used whole milk ricotta and a sourdough boule from whole foods, and we topped off the toasts with fleur de sel. My 1 and a half year old daughter kept asking for “more squash” (we had extra squash/onion mixture even after a dinner and a lunch of it, so that was also a big bonus!) Can’t wait to make it again, and I might even have to add the squash/onion mixture to my regular rotation of toddler meals!

  78. Ashby

    Delightful. Used the husband’s homemade bread, less maple syrup, and tossed lots of chopped arugula on top. I am not always a squash fan (too sweet) and this was great – the cider vinegar balanced it really well.

  79. Sarah

    I made this the other night for a wine and cheese night with some friends. It was SO GOOD. It was also the first time I’d ever successfully caramelized onions. I think my pan must have always been too hot before? I just bought a giant bag of onions because now I want to put them on everything. Thanks for the perfect fall squash recipe!

  80. Marianne

    I know this post is a few weeks old, but I made such a wonderful discover that I had to share. I made this recipe exactly as specified and served a lovely meal on night one. I had all the components left over for night two, so I made it into pizza! I made the pizza crust from this site, and with the addition of some crumbled Italian sausage made a pizza my husband can’t stop talking about. Ricotta on the crust, smashed squash, topped with the onions and sausage. I’m making a double batch next time! I also sautéed the butternut squash seeds in butter and salt and used them to top the toasts the first night. Amazingly delicious. Thanks Deb!

  81. I tried it out and my husband was really excitetd! Thank you very much for your work here with your homepage. I will tell all my friends abaout it!
    Thank you very much Deb!
    yours Lisa

  82. Alyssa

    I made this for a halloween party and got rave reviews. I made ricotta the night before (also from this site), used the halve/roast/scoop method for the butternut squash, used brown sugar instead of maple syrup, and omitted the mint. So so good, I am fantasizing about making it again.

  83. Megan

    Delicious. I used pumpkin seed bread from 7 Stars Bakery in Providence, and almost skipped the pan-frying step. So glad I didn’t! Once he took the mint off, the 4 year old thought it was the best thing evah!

  84. Noren

    This was amazing with cheap soft goat cheese and butternut. I make everything with butternut but this is a game-changer. The onions were perfect.

    I will say: I followed your tip about not peeling the squash before roasting, and for me it was so fiddly that it was not worth it. If anyone reading this is on the fence, I vote that you should peel it before you roast it.

  85. Sophia

    When I made this, I cheated and bought pre-peeled butternut so I just had to chop it up and roast it–it got great caramelization and was super easy. I just ate the leftover filling in a quesadilla with ricotta and avocado, with brussel sprouts on the side. Delicious.

  86. Kathryn

    This is scrumptious. It was posted the day David Lebovitz posted a whole grain sunflower seed rye bread. This was sign I couldn’t ignore. Loved the roast, than peel, fabulous tip. I squeezed the slightly cooled flesh from the peel. Thanks again for true party in your mouth food.

  87. LacyO

    Do yourself a favor and PEEL IT BEFOREHAND! I doubled this recipe and it took me forever to claw the peels off of all those thin pieces. If the squash is a bit firm you have to use your nails to detach the peel. If the squash is perfectly soft, it will fall apart into 5 pieces each with peel sticking to it. BAH!

    Other than that this recipe is my new favorite thing. This is my second time to make it in two weeks. We actually use blue cheese smashed into a paste with a bit of butter to spread on the bread before we add the squash. Whoa good.

    Also, we used some gluten free rice crusts, spread on the butternut mixture, sprinkled it with crumbled bacon and then topped it with a fried egg. Out of control!

  88. Sophia

    I can attest that these are perfect for lunch the day after thanksgiving topped with leftover cranberry sauce. Did half with ricotta and half with goat cheese. Got lots of compliments, thanks!

  89. E

    I just made this into the best pizza ever (and I make pizza pretty much weekly). I used the leisurely pizza dough from the cookbook, and the butternut mash as the “sauce”, the onions as the topping, and a mix of shredded sharp cheddar (for taste) and mozzarella (for meltability) for the cheese. Forgot all about the mint. This tasted like fall on a pizza, and it’s one that I will make every year.

    Also, I peeled it ahead of time, because I had a five pound butternut and cubed the other half of the squash for the warm butternut and chickpea salad-another fall favorite around here.

  90. Mel

    A follow up to my comment above. Made it. Didn’t have toasts, but ate it as a side (didn’t mash the pieces, we just had the pieces of squash with a bit of cheese and the onions on top). It was heaven. Simply heaven. And I imagine it would be even more delicious on toasts! Thank you as always for the scrumptiousness, and the yummiest food blog ever :)

  91. Laurie

    I’ve wanted to make this since I read that you cook the onions until they turn jammy. I’m in.

    I made it yesterday, and it was really good. I’m looking forward to the leftovers, but am also thinking about a pizza with the mixture and a little gorgonzola cheese.

    Thank you for another winning recipe.

  92. At ABC Kitchen, this dish is made exclusively with Kabocha squash. And it’s one of many delicious toasts! Ronnie, who’s your daughter? I worked there for a long time, maybe I know her!!

  93. Also after reading through the comments – at the restaurant the toast is made with ricotta (one of my favorite things in the world) but because of the richness of the cheese+squash combo, I often find the dish to be too sweet and intense. I think goat cheese would add the right amount of tang to counteract some of the sweetness. Feta seems too salty for my taste.

  94. Vicky

    This recipe is fabulous! I made it as an appetizer for a dinner party and everyone said that they would gladly eat it everyday. I made it with acorn squash, and mixed ricotta with a little bit of creamy feta, which was just the right amount of creamy and salty.
    It was so good that I ate it again for lunch the next day, made with some leftover butternut squash that I had frozen.
    Thanks for sharing and making it sound so enticing!

  95. Marie

    Living in an area where the maple syrup flows like water, I received at least 3 large jars from co-workers and neighbors last year. Unfortunately, I rarely make pancakes and so still have almost all of it left and I know if I don’t start using it soon, I will be flooded with more than I can handle when the season comes again. This recipe looks very good, and I’m wondering what the chances are of you adding a maple syrup section to your recipie categories?
    Thanks for sharing your cooking with us all!

  96. Mindy

    This is delicious. I agree with a few of the above posters that slicing, roasting and then peeling is not the way to go. Next time I will just peel it first and then slice. Also, I had intended to make the quiche Lorraine from this site but changed my mind after I had already sautéed the leeks and onions, so I used those instead of the onions in the directions above, and it was really good.

  97. Heather

    I’m sure the bf wouldn’t consider this dinner, but this would be perfect for my lunch (or even breakfast, as I love toast with avocado and tomato). Trying it next week!

  98. Emily

    How would this work on a cracker? Looking for a lighter appetizer to serve before thanksgiving dinner and want to incorporate squash and ricotta.

  99. Heather

    Everytime i have some ingredients and a vague idea of what I want to make, I find the most amazing recipe on your site.

    So… I have shallots, but no yellow onion. Can I use shallots instead?! Please??

  100. c

    Yum, esp. the onions!

    I assumed the squash was supposed to be in a single layer, but maybe not? About 1-1/2 to 2 lb. (leftovers) took up the whole big sheet, so I stopped there.

    I used 3 T maple syrup — didn’t taste the maple, but it was plenty sweet.

    My main suggestion is to use less oil (maybe 1-2 T) for the onions — I wasted a lot left in the pan afterward. I’m pretty confident in the kitchen but find carmelizing onions intimidating — was pleased with the results here.

    BTW I used harvest bread from Whole Foods — WW & rye, not sure if it’s sourdough. I’ve tried 2 Le Pain Quotidiens, though, and couldn’t get miche at either (one was end of the day, and the other was a small location).

  101. I’m visiting New York this weekend and just had dinner at ABC Kitchen for the first time. They brought out this squash toast, and I said, “Oh my gosh! I’ve made this! I saw it on Smitten Kitchen, and it’s amazing!” Full circle, huh? You’re more famous to me than any NY restaurant!

  102. c

    I’ve made this twice — think it was better the first time (with ricotta) than the second (with chevre), but both were good. (Weird, because I like chevre much better than ricotta.) Just saw a tip that might be helpful: use an ice cream scoop to remove the squash seeds. I’ll have to try that next fall, thought it might help others.

  103. Claire

    I just made this last night for probably the 15th time and it never fails. So comforting and yummy and it hits all the right notes. Just wanted to say THANK YOU! Nearly all of my go-to recipes are yours!

  104. Mimi (another one)

    Boy this Looks good. If our weather stays this cold, I’ll try and get hold of a butternut squash .. don’t know how I could overlook this recipe for so long!

  105. Sara

    We make this recipe all the time! I always swap agave in for the maple syrup, because agave is less expensive. I bet it would be a little more rich with the maple syrup, but agave is a solid substitute.

  106. Courtney

    I’ve made this with butternut squash and it’s delicious! Even my husband, who is not a squash fan, enjoyed it. I used ground controne pepper instead of chile flakes, and found it easier to just peel the butternut squash at the outset rather than post-roasting.

    I actually also just adapted these flavors into a roasted butternut squash soup! I roasted the butternut squash with an onion and a few cloves of garlic in olive oil, salt, controne pepper, and a touch of maple syrup. Then I simmered it with chicken broth and blended it all together. Delicious! Highly recommend for a really good, not-too-sweet butternut squash soup.

  107. I’ve made countless Smitten Kitchen recipes over the years, but these Squash Toasts might be my favorite yet. (Okay, my favorite savory recipe.) I rarely repeat recipes, but I’m planning to serve this one again at a dinner party later this month.

    Don’t cut corners on fresh ricotta, which will make the dish. Farm-fresh ricotta tastes nothing like the kind that comes in the plastic package!

  108. lia

    Perhaps an odd question, but I’m wondering if this could be adapted to be made as a pizza or a galette/tart. I’m a fan of both your summer squash pizza and butternut squash/caramalized onion galette and would love to adapt this to something similar. Would the dough and baking instructions for either of those work here?

    1. deb

      I can’t say for sure if the baking instructions would be the same, but I could definitely see the apple of using these onions instead of the onions in the butternut galette and the ricotta instead of the grated cheese.

  109. JP

    Thank you for this idea! We’d actually bought a couple pieces of pre-roasted squash and were moaning about what else to make for dinner and I saw this on one of your social media feeds. So I just heated and mashed up the WF squash, toasted some bread, smeared on some great local chive goat cheese, and called it dinner! Not exactly “I made this,” but something modeled after your recipe. It was great.

  110. nbmandel

    Yes, I made this and it was delicious! Except, um, no toast. I used delicata squash (peeled but not obsessively, as the skin is thin enough to eat), feta cheese, a couple of different mints picked from local gardens, and made a Bowl (the other nouveau 20-teens meal form) with bulgur wheat. It meant there was no crunchy element, but the nutty flavor and firm-yielding texture worked well. Maybe I’d add a few roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds another time.

  111. Barbara

    This was absolutely delightful! I used some ciabatta bread and left off the mint as I am not a fan of mint. Except for mint chocolate chip ice cream or Thin Mints! I might even try this combination on a pizza crust!

  112. C

    I tried to speed up the squash at 425 degrees with the convection setting. They seemed sort of fried and dried out, esp. compared to the pictures above. I still like the idea of the convection oven, but next time I plan to try a bit thicker slices.

  113. Anna Lingel

    I made this for dinner for my dad last night alongside potato soup and your dijon braised brussel sprouts. Recipe was a breeze, they tasted incredible, and (for once) I didn’t even burn the bread!

  114. Bev.

    I made this and loved it. I tried roasting the squash without peeling, and it’s my new go-to method for roasting. I let it sit in the pan for a couple of hours after taking it out of the oven, so that might have been part of what made the skin peel off so easily. Another tip–I cut the squash vertically (from tip to tail), and only needed to peel 4 big slices once it was done.

    Also, thank you for separating out the “I made this” comments from the rest. Comments are helpful, but not sorting through a hundred “this looks great” notes. :)