Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Food: Appetizer

My computer is back after having the trackpad replaced.  It is great to be connected and back to Spiral Style.  The one result of the computer issues is that my photos were deleted with the trash.  Ouch!!  I'm hoping to restore the photos that I've backed up with my external harddrive with some help from the good people at the Apple store, One-on-One staff.

Meanwhile, this is Thanksgiving week and the focus is thankfulness, family and food...then black Friday.  I'm going to concentrate on food and today I'd like to share an appetizer idea.
I saw this recipe in the NY Times this past week.  The recipe is from Jean-Georges Vongerichten for Squash on Toast.
Call these toasts or crostini or bruschetta, the idea is that toasted bread is the vehicle for some lovely roasted squash and caramelized onions topping a layer of ricotta.  The addition of cider vinegar and maple syrup to the onion mixture evokes autumnal flavors.
Thin slices of squash are oven roasted with red pepper flakes while sliced onions are sauteed stove top.  When the onions are are sufficiently caramelized, the syrup and vinegar are added to achieve a "jammy" consistency. 
The squash and onions are then simply mashed together with a fork.
Toast some baguette slices.  The suggested method is in a pan with olive oil.  You could simply toast the bread or grill it without the addition of oil.
Spread some really good fresh ricotta on the toast and then top with the squash mixture.  If you are ambitious, make your own ricotta using the instructions here.   
I used thyme leaves as a garnish rather than the suggested mint.  
I LOVED this recipe.  The texture of the squash and onions are complimented by the smooth ricotta and crunchy bread and the flavors evoke autumn.  These toasts are a great appetizer but would be equally at home as an accompaniment to a soup or salad.  
I highly recommend this recipe.  It is worth the effort.  

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