Butternut Squash Toast with Ricotta, Mint & Savory Granola
Packed full of flavor, this toast gets a spread of sweet, butternut squash, roasted with a hint of maple syrup then topped with soft, caramelized onions. The creamy ricotta hidden underneath adds a rich, milky flavor, uplifted by fresh mint leaves. Finally, you get a delicate honeyed crunch and kick of black pepper from our aged cheddar granola.
Tips and tricks:
1. Start with a solid foundation. Great toast starts with great bread! If available to you, buy a sourdough made from local, organic grains. Here, I used a seeded sourdough from Nick + Sons bakery in Brooklyn, New York.
I like to slice my bread on the thicker side for toasting, ~1 inch. This allows for a nice crisp exterior while also providing a nice cushiony sourdough that won't get soggy underneath the toppings.
Try to avoid sliced bread that's been sitting on the shelf at the grocery store. Often, these breads are made with dough conditioners and preservatives that don't add much to flavor or nutritional profile. But if this is what's available to you, by all means, don't let this stop you from making this recipe!
2. Get quality ingredients. Toast offers so much simplicity that you want to ensure each ingredient counts. For the ricotta, I went to my local cheese shop to get house-made ricotta made from local, whole milk. Another great option is Bellwether Farms ricotta, which can be found in retailers like Whole Foods.
3. Balance out flavors and textures. In this recipe, you get the crunchy elements of the toasted bread, the savory granola, and the flakey sea salt. This balances out the creaminess from the mashed squash and ricotta.
When it comes to balancing fat or creamy textures, I recommend adding brightness through fresh herbs like mint or basil, and a touch of acidity with lemon juice or honey vinegar.
This recipe balances the sweet and savory. Natural sweetness from the butternut squash, enhanced by maple syrup and caramelized onions. Finishing this toast off with flakey sea salt gives you a nice bite of salty to round out the flavors.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed butternut squash, sliced onion, chili flakes, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and your cooking oil of choice onto a sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the onions have caramelized, and the butternut squash is soft, about 15-20 min.
When finished, mash the squash and onions with a fork.
To serve, toast the slices of sourdough, then spread a generous amount of ricotta, and top with mashed squash and onion mixture. Garnish with flakey sea salt, mint, and cheddar granola, with a slight drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish. Enjoy!
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