Roasted Butternut Squash, Bacon & Hazelnut Bruschetta

How can it already be September? Where did the summer go? I’m crying inside. Although I’m 100 percent a summer person, I LOVE the flavors of fall. Butternut squash is one of those comfort foods that makes you want to wrap yourself in an oversized sweatshirt, cozy up, and eat by a fire.

If you roast butternut squash, it caramelizes and brings out the natural sugars and gets melt-in-your-mouth soft. Perched on thick-cut sourdough toast rubbed with garlic, the squash is sprinkled with smoky bacon, parmigiano-reggiano and toasted hazelnuts.

P.S. this recipe is best consumed in your comfiest PJs.

 

 

 

Makes: 6 bruschetta 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

The Ingredients

1 large sourdough boule (look for a loaf with crusty exterior and soft interior!), cut into slices

24 ounce container small cubed butternut squash (or butternut squash spiraled noodles)

~1/4 pound grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or sub parmesan)

1 cup hazelnuts

1 pound Applewood smoked bacon (I like Niman Ranch brand that’s uncured!)

1 garlic clove, peeled

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper

 

 

 

The Steps

To roast hazelnuts: preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet covered in foil, toast hazelnuts in a single layer for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and wrap nuts in foil to steam for 10 minutes. If nuts are cool enough to touch, peel skins off easily using your fingers. Place peeled nuts in a sealed plastic bag. Use the bottom of a water glass to pound the nuts in the bag so the nuts break up into a coarse chop.

To cook bacon: cut bacon into small, bite-sized pieces. Sauté and render in a pan until crispy. Set aside.

For roasted squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss cubed squash with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a few cracks of black pepper and salt. Roast for 30-40 minutes until squash looks caramelized, tossing every 15 minutes for even browning. Remove from oven and set aside.

To assemble: Set oven to a low broil. Drizzle bread slices with olive oil. Broil each side for about 2-3 minutes, until just golden and firm. Remove from oven and rub garlic clove on each slice to infuse bread with garlic.

Pile each slice generously with butternut squash. Sprinkle with parmesan and toasted hazelnuts. Add a pinch of bacon on each. Finish with more black pepper. Serve warm. Cozy up in your PJs…

 

 

 

The Steps with Pictures

To roast hazelnuts: preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet covered in foil, toast hazelnuts in a single layer for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and wrap nuts in foil to steam for 10 minutes. If nuts are cool enough to touch, peel skins off easily using your fingers. Place peeled nuts in a sealed plastic bag. Use the bottom of a water glass to pound the nuts in the bag so the nuts break up into a coarse chop.

For roasted squash: Preheat oven to 365 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss cubed squash with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a few cracks of black pepper and salt. Roast for 30-40 minutes until squash looks caramelized, tossing every 15 minutes for even browning. Remove from oven and set aside.

To cook bacon: cut bacon into small, bite-sized pieces. Sauté and render in a pan until crispy. Set aside.

To assemble: Set oven to a low broil. Drizzle bread slices with olive oil. Broil each side for about 2-3 minutes, until just golden and firm. Remove from oven and rub garlic clove on each slice to infuse bread with garlic.

Pile each slice generously with butternut squash. Sprinkle with parmesan and toasted hazelnuts. Add a pinch of bacon on each. Finish with more black pepper. Serve warm. Cozy up in your PJs…

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