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.
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.
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.
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.
244 comments on squash toasts with ricotta and cider vinegar
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…
Molly — Thanks, link now fixed. I don’t know what brussels sprout salsa is, but I want it. :)
Here you go, Deb. Link to the recipe https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/17/squash-pumpkin-recipes-yotam-ottolenghi
Link didn’t work today
Yes! I saw “brussels sprouts” and “sumac” and knew I had to try it!
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!
He tweeted these recipes a few weeks back. I think I’ll just do the salsa and serve it as a side to some nice fish, and save the squash for these toasts.
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!!
I bought some organic smoked goat ricotta the other day. This would be a tasty way to use it!
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!
What a perfect autumn dish. Those caramelized onions are seriously swoon-worthy!
This looks dreamy! Do you think brown sugar would be a decent substitute for the maple syrup, which I’m out of?
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.
This looks absolutely amazing deb – the cider vinegar adds a nice kick!
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. :)
Oh my, just a perfect recipe for this time of the year and a vegetarian like me!
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!
Annie — Definitely.
Anne — That’s a GREAT tip. I will update the recipe to note it, with credit. :)
Oh man, excited for the salted peanut butter caramel recipe, but this will DEFINITELY satisfy me for now. I’m all for any kind of toast!
Love the tip about roasting the squash whole. You can also roast it in a crockpot! Peeling squash is a pain! This would be a great fall appetizer.
Holy heck this looks good. I love mixing textures. I bet the soft squash & crunchy bread make for a delightful meal. I love a good vegetarian dish. :
One of the nicest things about Autumn are the colors and they are certainly represented in this recipe. Thanks!
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.
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?
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.
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!
I am a sucker for butternut, but peeling it is a total nightmare! I love all the fall flavors going on in here and will definitely be trying these out.
That bread! Those onions! That squash! Yummmm. This looks like the world’s most perfect toast :)
so basically the butternut squash & caramelized onion galette from your archives/book (WHICH I LOVE) remixed and but on toast. SOLD!
This is just TOO perfect! Someday you will conquer the peanut butter caramels, I just know it.
This looks wonderful! I definitely have people in my house that are distrusting of vegetables and nothing else for dinner, but I’m fairly certain that I would enjoy this!
wow perfect trinity- the squash, vinegar and ricotta – a food poem. I can’t wait to make this!
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.
Ok – I will make this for my Halloween guests, but please post a salted peanut butter caramel recipe soon!!
Ricotta toasts topped with tomatoes, avocado, or peppers are one of my go-to summer lunches… but you just went ahead and up the ricotta toast game, girl. This looks glorious, scrumptious, perfect.
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). :)
Note to self — MAKE HALF for appetizers. This makes a lot, and even enthusiastic enjoyers of the ensemble couldn’t come close to plowing through it all!
Smitten yet again….
Looks really good.
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.
I would need to add prosciutto to this but the toasts and the kale salad are really a perfect meal :)
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?]
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.
“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?
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!
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?
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.
This looks beautiful! Great idea with the onions and mint! I am also intensely excited to try Anne’s winter squash technique! Best wishes!
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 :)
I have a butternut squash that has been waiting around to become coconut curry squash soup, but it may just become these instead! It’s like the winter version of avocado toast… but yummier :) Thanks, Deb!
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.
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. :)
I’m enjoying this right now for dinner and it’s AMAZING. With butternut squash and goats cheese. Delicious.
Mushroom and egg pizza? Oooo…next recipe, please!
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!
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!
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!
Love this recipe. Might agree that you’re he very last to the party :) I think food52 posted it not too long ago, too.
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!
What a perfect autumn dish Those caramelized onions are seriously swoon worthy
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’.
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.
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…
Anusha — That sounds amazing! I will seek it out and report back. :)
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!
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!
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.
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
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!!
This will be dinner tonight!! Always looking for new things to do with squash, such a fabulous fall food. Thank you!!
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!
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
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.
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. :)
Margaret — That sounds delicious!
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.
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?!
Do you think this be good with sweet potato? I really, really don’t like squash, but the flavors sound amazing. Thanks!
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.
This may be my dinner next week. Cue the squeals of excitement. Another Deb masterpiece, I am sure.
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?
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.
Sara – I used delicata squash to avoid peeling. That’s what I love about delicata!
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
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 :)
I love the idea of roasting squash this way. It always seems like it’s going to be a pain, but this seems very simple. This onion “confit” sounds divine too. I bet it would be a great additional to a pot roast as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That looks so yum. I think a squash might have to be added to this weeks shopping list :)
Another use for my no knead sourdough bread, life is good.
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.
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!
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. :)
Made these last night for my family and a few friends and they were a hit. I substituted honey for maple syrup.
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.
I made these over the weekend to use up some of the pumpkin I have left over from Halloween and they were delicious! Surprisingly the addition of the mint was really yum. I loved them so much I shared them on my blog: http://www.mylittlelarder.com/5-ways-to-use-up-pumpkin/
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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).
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!
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
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! :-)
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. :)
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!
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.
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 ;)
These look really good!I’m not an onion fan though, do these have a very strong onion flavor?
Molly — It’s a caramelized onion/confit/sweet/tangy flavor, so not a straight onion vibe.
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
Georgette — Definitely. Plus, I’m a pumpernickel junkie. Glad you enjoyed.
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.
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!
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!
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!
I can’t get over how gorgeous this dish is! I love the combination of butternut squash and ricotta!
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
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.
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!!
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
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?
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
This were awesome – I used pomegranate molasses instead of maple syrup and it added a nice sweet and sour flavor.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Oops. Just realized you addressed this above. Should have scrolled through the comments :). Seriously, new favorite recipe!
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!
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.
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 :)
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.
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!!
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.
Wow that looks do good, thanks for posting this recipe.
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!
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!
Use maple syrup as a healthier alternative to sugar in many baking recipes!
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.
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!
This was awesome, but the jammy onion? Life changing.
How would this work on a cracker? Looking for a lighter appetizer to serve before thanksgiving dinner and want to incorporate squash and ricotta.
Emily — Would probably be good on a cracker, but it’s a heavy topping. You’d want to use less per, so it didn’t overweigh them.
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??
Heather — I don’t see why not. They caramelize a little differently, but are still delicious with these other ingredients.
I’ll go ahead and answer my own question. I used shallots and it came out amazing. Soooo delicious.
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).
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
One other note: We made the recipe tonight using ricotta, and we much prefer goat cheese. Much tangier/more flavor.
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.
I’ve made this twice in two weeks. The first time I didn’t peel the squash, and found it annoying to remove the peels from the cooked squash. Peeling before cooking worked better for me. The second time I toasted the bread instead of frying it, and I liked that better, too. I tried it once with feta and once with ricotta. Feta FTW! Will probably double the onions next time.
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!
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?
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.
Why do you peel the butternut, in Europe we know the best flavour is in the skin and once roasted mashes easily?
I have never found the skin to disappear when mashed. Delicata, more often, but the butternut always seems a bit papery to me.
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.
Try it with the onions — I bet it’d be even better!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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. :)
I thought these were DELICIOUS. Next time I’m going to double the caramelized onions though. Yum yum
This was so tasty! Made it with goat cheese. I agree about doubling the onions.
Made this tonight and it was delicious. I used some leftover butternut squash and home made ricotta cheese I had in the fridge. Tried to figure out what to make with it and came across this recipe. Bingo! Thought it might even more tasty with some diced pancetta or prosciutto in the mix.
So I’m having a family brunch this coming Sunday. Would i be able to make this in steps? Carmelize the onions one day, roast the squash another day and combine another day (of course I would have to warm the onions, taste, and season) and store mixture in the refrigerator for several days?
How long would you store the mixture for? Do you think it would get dried out?
Thanks so much. Big fan!
I’ve made this twice, once as the recipe is (to top over polenta) and the second time a bit different. I used za’atar and roasted the squash in cubes, topping a piece of crusty bread with goat cheese, squash and parsley. It was delicious!
I tasted this dish for the first time at a favorite Baltimore-area restaurant and was so happy to find JGV’s recipe available on the interwebs so I could re-create it at home. You’re right about the mint; it does make a great dish into a perfect one. And as soon as I’m off Whole 30, I’m going to make these toasts with both the bread and the ricotta, but before then, I need to figure out a way to make this as a compliant side dish!
Thank you for this recipe! It is SO delicious. I’ve made it three times already!!!
can this be made in a large format, like a savory tart? would you use puff pastry in lieu of toast?
I haven’t tried it but I bet it would be a hit. The only thing is that I might not pile it on as thick, puffed pastry gets soggy…
This was a GREAT appetizer for thanksgiving. I had forgotten to buy ricotta, and ended up leaving out the maple syrup, so it was more of a riff on the recipe – it ended up being sweet potato, thyme, a lot of butter, and caramelized onions, spread over thick whole wheat sourdough, with crumbled blue cheese on top. I cut each piece of bread into 8 bites and everyone had one or two pieces, it was a flavorful and satisfying appetizer for when everyone arrived and still had a long time to wait before dinner.
Was struggling for an appetizer for a party and found this. Tried it with yam, goat cheese and basil and it was AMAZING!! Thank you for this recipe.
These were absolutely delicious, and it was hard to share them with others!
WOW. This is a wow recipe. Delicious! Love the maple syrup.
This was delicious. Made it with homemade goat ricotta and I used a TJs ciabatta brushed with olive oil on both sides and grilled on the barbecue. Thank you!
This is one of my favorite SK recipes and the only recipe where I actually prefer goat cheese. I’m making this for my “Mealtrain” meal and I have two questions. First, I know they reheat well assembled but is it much tastier if they toast the bread and assemble just before eating? They have a brand new baby so I don’t want to make something unnecessarily fussy. My second question – is there a salad you’d recommend? My reflex is to make a spinach salad but everything I come up with seems too overpowering for this dish.
I made this today in the form of pizza as part of a Halloween pizza buffet, which also included your broccoli pizza. I used frozen prepared pizza crust and goat cheese, then finished the pizza with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar after baking, It was a huge hit!
Made this for a party and everyone loved it. But what I really want to say is I threw the leftover squash, onions and ricotta together with some pasta water and Romano cheese and ate it over pasta, big pachierri tubes that became stuffed with all the squashy Goodness. So good!
Excellent! Went down really well as dinner this evening. Thanks very much!
Hi Deb — I am getting a few dinners out of this recipe this week. It’s one of my absolute favorites on this site, and whenever I’ve made it for friends, they’ve loved it too.
Some time ago, Rachel Roddy had a pumpkin in agrodolce recipe in her Guardian column, which is apparently a traditional Italian/Sicilian concept. And some time after reading that, I made the connection that the squash and onions part over here must almost certainly have been directly inspired by that. Mashing the two together a bit and putting it all on toast along with goat cheese and mint is still sheer genius. But it was fun to realize that the main component of this dish is not a new concept at all.
If you google for agrodolce, several recipes show up, and not all are even Italian. One of these days I might be tempted to make cipollini in agrodolce, or even tomatoes in agrodolce, but this toast version is so amazingly good that chances are I will never get around to any others.
Anyway, just wanted to have a conversation about this recipe, which I am looking forward to having for dinner tonight. Thanks!
Thank you. Re, cippolini onions, ahem. They’re amazing.
I don’t know if you have my second cookbook (no pressure!) but I do a pork tenderloin (so obviously not vegetarian) with roasted squash and agrodolce onions, leaning more Italian, which made me realize in hindsight that this recipe is like an “American agrodolce.” I.e. apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar; maple syrup for the sweetness — very American ingredients to land a Sicilian-ish flavor profile.
Thanks for the fun reply! I’ve never had caponata, but it sounds like an agrodolce spinoff as well. Btw, I have self-control issues with maple syrup, and I don’t keep it around, so I routinely make this with brown sugar, and have no complaints.
I know your archives frighteningly well, but only remembered the other cipollini recipe you have, which I should also make some day. The list of things to make some day is very long :)
Have a good weekend, Deb!
I was going to use this recipe as a preparation for a butternut squash side dish (without the cheese and bread). Has anyone tried that before?
Sara, I almost always make extra squash/onion mixture just to have some leftover to eat on its own. It’s delicious.
I had my eye on this recipe for some time and I finally made this and I am so happy that I did! I made no substitutions on this recipe… it was perfect as written. My husband who is a meat lover he really enjoyed our mostly vegetarian dinner of this and a simple side salad. (I made another toast with roasted mission figs, shaved Parmesan, and prosciutto with a balsamic glaze so not entirely veggie meal.) Thank you, Deb! You’re a kitchen ninja. Xx
So so good. Put the butternut onion mixture over the ricotta on naan bread and topped with shaved parm cheese. It was delicious. In the am i spread it on bread topped first with hummus instead of ricotta and ate with a fried egg. So yummy. Very versatile. I agree about adding more onion. I wish i had used two because the onion cooked down to nothing. May try using balsamic instead of apple cider vinegar next time.
thank you for the hummus suggestion! i was just wondering what i should use to make a vegan version for some friends. I wasn’t all that excited about vegan cheese options, but hummus sounds like a good swap!
I actually thought it was much harder and a big oily mess to peel the skin off the squash after it was cooked, and wished I had peeled it before hand. I also thought I was wasting a lot of squash because I couldn’t get a nice clean slice.
Having said that the flavors are amazing and I will be making this again!
This. Is. Magic.
Get good sourdough! Served for dinner with whole milk ricotta and a side of roasted brussel sprouts (and some good red wine, of course).
Also, I left the butternut squash in halves with skin on, roasted for about one hour with olive oil and salt, and then just spooned out what I wanted in to the onions right before serving. It worked very well and i didn’t have to wrestle with the squash.
Thank you for this recipe! Simple and wonderful.
Wow, is this delicious–perfect fall meal.
I’ve made this several times and LOVE it! However, I’ll note that the method of leaving the skin on to roast, then peeling after, did NOT work for me (at least, not for butternut squash). The recipe says to cut into 1/4″-thick slices — if you do this, you end up with ~50 skin-on slices, which must be individually peeled (while still hot, unless you want to wait extra time for them to cool). I tried this, and it not only did not save me time, but also ended up taking lots of delicious squashy bits with the peel. Next time, I’ll stick to my usual method of peel, cube, and roast (at least, if doing a butternut squash).
This is beyond good! Finally made it last night. Did the bread in a 400 oven – brushed liberally on both sides with olive oil. Also did 2 onions. Could eat it almost daily!
Made this for a cocktail party last night. I used goat cheese and added a tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary to the squash mix. Absolutely delicious and had rave reviews from guests. Love that I can make the filling way ahead of time and assembly is super quick and easy. Another winner Deb!!
SO delicious! We had these for appetizers on Thanksgiving. I used my butternut squash and my chevre and it was just the most delicious combo ever. I roasted the squash and made the jammy onions the day before and then heat everything before assembling and then heating again in the oven. It was just perfection. Thank you!
Excited to try this out. I already have my list set for this weekend’s winter market to grab ingredients. Wondering if I could sub honey in place of the maple syrup? Would that be weird? Good? In my opinion, nothing could possibly get weird with honey, but I’d love your input.
We love this! We use whatever is on hand. Usually make it with goat cheese and olive ciabatta bread. This last time we made it with vegan truffle oil cashew cheese, which might sound weird, but it too worked. I’d highly recommend for any lactose intolerant and/or vegan friends.
Someone made this for a potluck last year, and it was everyone’s favorite. Then I made it when I hosted some friends, and everyone loved it. (I’ve even used cream cheese to make it more affordable, and it’s really good!)
It’s now transitioned from party food to staple meal; making batch of the pumpkin mixture on a Sunday, I can assemble toasts for lunch all week and eat like royalty.
I have been wanting to make this for years and for some reason hadn’t. Taken advantage of WFH, and made this for a fancy lunch and YUM. It was so good. My only comment is it definitely took me a little longer to get my onions nice and jammy.
Many winter squash peels are edible and tasty once roasted. Acorn is one of them.
Operation How To Convince Your Husband He Likes Winter Squash: Step 1 – Make this recipe. Step 2: Feed him. Mission accomplished.
Seriously, though, after 30 years of marriage, husband now sees some value in squash. I used Delicata and did not peel, and cooked it according to a recipe on The Kitchn, with a little olive oil, maple syrup, and bacon tossed in with it. Did not peel the roasted squash, lightly mashed it all together, and served in on sliced toasted miche slathered in goat cheese. Husband can’t believe he avoided winter squash all these years. :-)
I made this squash dish the same day it appeared in my email. I served it as an accompaniment to a social distanced casual gathering with wine. Made on my own sourdough bread, it was a big hit. Since I had all the ingredients on hand it was a snap. I used mascarpone cheese and feta both. Delightful. Thank you.
Hi Deb.. long time disciple here. I must have missed something here. I cut the squash into 1/4” slices (much smaller than your 1/2” slices in the photo) and it is taking forEVER to peel off the little skins from each slice after they’re roasted. Much longer than it would have been to peel the darn thing whole. Did I miss something? Sooo hungry for this!
For a butternut squash, it makes sense (I did this in the photos). But for a bumpy squash, the acorn or kabocha also suggested) pre-peeling is … difficult. To cut the peel away after roasting just use a knife and it should go quickly.
I made it successfully delicious with delicata squash. I cut it in half lengthwise, seeded and drizzle led with suggested oil and spices. Then scooped it out to mash with the onions. It was delicious.
I made this yesterday and it was delicious. I used the 3 TB of maple syrup as Deb suggests she would do next time. Don’t skip the mint; it makes the flavors all come together beautifully, and I’m not even a huge mint fan. Based on input from others about more onion, I used one medium-sized onion and one slightly smaller one and the proportions seemed right to me. Question – Deb, how much onion, cup-wise, should we be using? Yellow onions vary so greatly in size. (This would be great for breakfast/brunch with a poached egg on top!)
This was such a satisfying self-care kind of lunch. Made up of all the things my children won’t touch. Working from home affords me the ability to caramelize onions and roast squash just because and even though I accidentally took the onions a bit far, the sloshing around in in the maple and cider vinegar made it all meld perfectly. I preferred this with goat cheese, my husband doesn’t care for ricotta or goat cheese, but did just fine with a smear of cream cheese first. Honestly, I think it would be great without any cheese, but that’s not the world I want to eat in:)
This was sooooo good! I made a half recipe for lunch to use up some leftover squash and ricotta. I also added some crumbled cambozola to the top–yum. I think next time I’d use slightly less salt in the onions, and maybe just spread cambozola (or similar) on the bread and skip the ricotta entirely. Would also be great as a base recipe for a fall crostini (whenever we have parties again!).
I made this today and it was delicious. I’m going to argue it’s even better than when I had it originally at ABC kitchen years ago. BUT Deb what is white having us keep the skin on the squash?!? Clearly you knew better in the pictures. I used a butternut and trying to get the skin of 400 degree squash was actual torture. So just FYI save your fingers, peel the squash.
I’m glad you enjoyed it. Mostly it’s about the kind of squash you use. I had a bumpy one that would be impossible to peel before roasting. But a smooth one would be easy. I’ll update the recipe to reflect this.
You’re the best Deb!
I cannot thank you enough for this recipe! A friend made this 2 weeks ago, for a group social distancing picnic. I was (we all were) blown away by the flavors. I told my friend I needed the recipe, I knew what needed to be done…raviolis! Today I made raviolis for the very first time. This morning I did the roasted buttercup squash and onion jam. Made the fresh pasta, rolled it through the pasta machine and got 54 raviolis. I filled a ziploc bag with the squash mixture and a smaller ziploc bag with ricotta cheese. I finely chopped a little bit of the mint and added it to the ricotta. Each ravioli was fill with 2/3 of the squash and a 1/3 of the ricotta. I served them with a brown butter and sage sauce. They were truely the best raviolis I have ever had and this recipe has moved to the top of the list, as the best thing I have ever made. My friend who originally made this, tomorrow I will be surprising her with the her own two dozen raviolis. There will be just enough leftover for thanksgiving, as an appetizer for my husband and I. Thank you again!
Wow! Great idea.
I made this previously as written but thought I would give the not peeling the squash first a try. I found that to be more time consuming as I had to carefully cut around each slice after they had softened from cooking- not fun! :/
Next time I will just pop the squash in the microwave to soften the skin first. Prick the squash so it does not explode, but this makes peeling it much easier.
Still a wonderful recipe, this will be served as our Thanksgiving app this year. And dinner for me tonight!! :)
You can eat the skin on most winter squash when it is cooked in the oven
Holy Smokes, this was delicious! The hit of our Thanksgiving feast. Thank you.
I made it exactly as written in the recipe.
I’ve been holding this recipe for a year. I made it this morning and it was just as good as I imagined. Thank you!!
Could I serve this room temperature at my next Impact100 membership meeting? If not this, is there a another appetizer you suggest? BTW, LOVE all that you do! Happy Valentine’s Day to the whole family.
Thank you. I think room temp is fine, so long as it’s not still chilled from the fridge.
This is my go-to fall/winter appetizer. I make it exactly as written and it’s fantastic! I only like it when the squash mash is hot, so it doesn’t work well set out on a buffet or brought to a dinner party. I haven’t tried the suggestion of reheating fully assembled in the oven.
This recipe provided some lovely inspiration! Those onions, mmmm….
I don’t have any winter squash at the moment, but thanks for getting me excited about some leftover cooked sweet potatoes at the end of a long day!
Ok, the onions are so good I’m having them again tonight! Been dreaming about them all day, and the many dishes in which they might appear.
Thank you! I’ve been totally bored with food lately.
Excellent. I agree with the less maple syrup (3 tbsp), in fact I might lower top 2.
I have been on a smitten kitchen bender! I made this tonight and served it with the kale/cheddar/apple salad and some chicken meatballs on the side. This was SO yummy! But a few things to note: no need to use maple syrup and cider vinegar – just use a good balsamic. (I use the Costco balsamic) it’s sweet and tart all at once and then you don’t have to buy that expensive maple syrup. Definitely use goat cheese. You need the sharpness of the goat cheese against the sweetness of the squash and the onions. Last I would toast or broil that bread because you really need a good crunch to contrast with all that other squish. It’s really all about the onions. That’s why they must be carmelized balsamic onions. Enjoy!
I made this tonight, and it was delicious! My husband doesn’t like butternut squash and he went back for seconds! The onions take this to another level, and I will definitely be making this again!