While I was in NYC a few weeks ago, I went out to brunch with a few girlfriends at ABC Kitchen. We had the most amazing squash toast as an appetizer for our brunch and I could not get it off my mind. Fast forward a few days later and I see the recipe for it posted in the New York Times! I had planned to attempt to make the squash toast on my own, but when I saw the recipe, I knew it was meant to be! This stuff is awesome. It is so complex and delicious, with crispy, crunchy bread, creamy ricotta, and sweet and savory squash. It would make a great holiday appetizer (vegetarian!). You have to make this soon!
Squash Ricotta ToastFrom Jean-Georges Vongerichten via the New York Times
1 2 1/2- to 3-pound kabocha or other yellow-fleshed squash, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick (I used buttercup squash)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes, more to taste
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 slices country bread, 1-inch thick
1/2 cup ricotta (goat cheese, feta or mascarpone work too)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Heat the oven to 450. Combine the squash, 1/4 cup olive oil, chile flakes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a bowl and toss well. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook, stirring every few minutes, until tender and slightly colored, about 15 minutes or a little longer. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, heat another 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onions and remaining teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well softened and darkening, at least 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and syrup, stir and reduce until syrupy and broken down, again at least 15 minutes or so; the mixture should be jammy.
Combine squash and onions in a bowl and smash with a fork until combined. Taste for seasoning.
Add the remaining oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add bread and cook until just golden on both sides, less than 10 minutes total; drain on paper towels. Spread cheese on toasts, then top with the squash-onion mixture. Sprinkle with coarse salt and garnish with mint.
The squash mixture can be made ahead of time and reheated (or not) when you are ready to serve the toast (it works warm or cold).