Pear and Squash Bruschetta

Pear and Squash Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 yellow onions (1 pound), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 3 ripe pears, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound loaf sourdough bread
  • 2 ounces smoked ricotta or smoked mozzarella cheese
  • Pumpkin seed oil or extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Peel the squash; save trimmings. Combine the squash trimmings, onion and carrots in a large saucepan; add 6 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer 45 minutes or until liquid is flavorful and reduced to about 3 cups. Strain. Reserve liquid and discard the solids.
  2. Scrape the seeds from the squash and discard. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch cubes. In a large, shallow pan, heat olive oil and butter. Add the sage leaves and fry for 30 seconds, or until crisp and fragrant. Remove the sage with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towel and reserve for garnish. Add squash and pears to the pan.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until just starting to brown. Add 1 cup squash stock and cook until there is almost no liquid left in the pan. Repeat, using all 3 cups stock. The pears and squash should be soft but still hold their shape. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the bread into 1/3-inch slices; arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  5. Heap the warm pear-squash mixture onto each bread slice. Using a vegetable peeler, make ribbons of cheese and place on top of each. If desired, drizzle with pumpkin seed oil or olive oil. Arrange the bruschetta on a platter and garnish with the fried sage leaves.