Are you looking to serve something that will wow your guests? Something that tastes as good as it looks? Well then try these squash ricotta toasts. I made these after seeing Mark Bittman’s video Squash on Toast. I happened to have had some randomly purchased items lying around my kitchen, so I figured why not do something less traditional with these items. I had plenty of ricotta cheese from Eastern District, a boutique cheese and beer store in Greenpoint that also sells random artisanal and specialty food products. (This ricotta was definitely good, but I vow to make my own homemade ricotta or a soft cheese of that caliber next time. There’s something empowering of making your own.) We also had an acorn squash from the farmer’s market just sitting on the tabletop. Just hanging out there, being ignored, ripening, waiting to be used. And, as always, we had bread and onions in the house.
Quick to eat. Just use your fingers. The set up is simple for your guests: pick up a toast and grab a napkin, then go socialize. The best part is you don’t have to clean up afterwards.
The original recipe called for mint. I used a parsley garnish, which I found to be just as fine (though I’m sure the mint would have given a little more zing to the bite). One piece of advice: make your life simple and use what you already have.
Squash Ricotta Toasts:
–any variety of squash (I used an acorn squash)
–ricotta cheese (store-bought or homemade)
–baguette (or any rustic bread)
–caramelized onions (make ahead of time, recipe not included)
–extra virgin olive oil
–pinch of sea salt
–pinch of red pepper flakes
–pinch of ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Place squash wedges flat on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, red paper flakes, and black pepper. Toss it around to coat evenly and then place in the oven. Check after 20 minutes to see how fast it’s cooking. Gage timing from there, then take out when squash looks slightly browned. Smash with a fork on the same parchment paper lined baking sheet. Add caramelized onions to the mash and season with a little salt and pepper. In a skillet, saute baguette slices in olive oil until browned on both sides. Let cool on paper towels. Spread ricotta over mini toasts, then top off with squash/onion mash and garnish with parsley (or herb of your choice). Place squash ricotta toasts on a platter of your choice and voila, guests are served.