Bruschetta with Roasted Squash, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries & Walnuts


Thanksgiving Day is now behind us, and I am sitting in my daughter’s house on Black Friday in Michigan looking out at a cool and drizzly day. I headed up north to spend time with family for the holidays ten days ago, and it has been a crazy, busy time with school runs, after school activities with the grandkids, and trying to fit meals in when most of the family is home. I had good intentions of getting this recipe posted before Thanksgiving as it is one of my favorite appetizers for the holidays, but time simply got away from me. Even though it is the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer, it is great to make anytime and would be enjoyed by everyone if served throughout the holiday season.

You can use any variety of squash, though I prefer butternut or kabocha squash since they hold up well. I mix the goat cheese with some cream cheese to create a very creamy base that still has that wonderful goat cheese flavor. I make this bruschetta fairly often, and have just recently started adding crumbled pancetta or bacon in combination with the squash and cranberries as the saltiness of the bacon is a perfect compliment to the sweetness of the squash and cranberries. For texture, some lightly toasted walnuts add a little crunch.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2016

Bruschetta with Roasted Squash, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries & Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Seeded, Peeled Squash, Cut Into Small Dice (See Notes Above)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Fresh Sage
  • 12 Slices Crusty Baguette
  • 1 (4 Ounce) Log Soft Goat Cheese At Room Temperature
  • 2 Ounces Cream Cheese At Room Temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Crispy Pancetta or Bacon Bits
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Lightly Toasted Chopped Walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Toss the diced squash with the oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil, and scatter the squash onto the sheet.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender, tossing twice during cooking time.
  5. Cool to room temperature, after tossing it with the chopped sage.
  6. Preheat broiler, and lay the baguette slices onto a second baking sheet.
  7. Lightly brown the bread slices on both sides.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese and cream cheese.
  9. Spread one side of each bruschetta with the goat cheese mixture, then arrange on a platter.
  10. Spoon the roasted squash onto each bread slice, then top with the pancetta bits, cranberries, and toasted chopped walnuts.
  11. Serve and enjoy!