a delicious new appetizer

I have Fall fever.

The crisp mornings, beautiful afternoons, and chilly evenings.  I love it all!

So does Henry. (Especially all the apples.)

Unfortunately, my body is having trouble adjusting to the change of seasons.  I took today off from the farm due to an actual fever.  Major bummer.  The good news is that I think this is just a 24 hour thing and I am feeling much better than I was earlier today.

I think the apple cider I was drinking all day helped (minus the whisky this time!)

And now that I am feeling better I thought I would share a lovely new appetizer with you all. We made this the other night and It was quite good.  The recipe needs a bit of tweaking because I felt like it was missing a little something…but it is still worth sharing and I will definitely make this again with a few modifications.

Butternut Squash, Ricotta, and Sage Crostini (Inspired by, Bon Appetit Recipe)

These were great, but Taylor put it best when he said, “all this is missing is bacon.” and I actually agree.  They needed an extra kick of some sort. But check out the recipe and definitely give these guys a try. Let me know if you think any other combination would work well.   These would still be a great appetizer for turkey day!


1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2″ cubes (about 4 cups)

3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

1 1/2 teaspoons packed) light brown sugar

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

24 fresh sage leaves

3/4 cup fresh ricotta

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 baguette loaf. Sliced in about 1/2-2/3 inch slices, toasted

Fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 425°. Toss squash, 2 Tbsp. oil, and sugar in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squash is golden and tender, 25-30 minutes. Let cool on sheet.

Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage; cook until edges begin to curl and turn dark green, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer to paper towels to drain. Mix ricotta and lemon zest in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1 Tbsp. of ricotta mixture on each baguette slice. Top each with a few squash cubes. Drizzle crostini with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top crostini with 2 fried sage leaves each.


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10 Responses to a delicious new appetizer

  1. Sue says:

    Feel better, Andrea! The crostini looks beautiful. The other photos look beautiful (otherworldy?) too!

  2. Karen Anne says:

    This is the first year I’ve planted butternut squash, and I had a success disaster. I have a bunch left after foisting as many as I could onto relatives 🙂

    I’m wondering if there is some trick to peeling them. I bought the sharpest, most giant knife imaginable, and it is still a heck of a lot of work. Also, after cooking they are somewhat stringy. I just mash them with a fork, does using a blender or food processor help them?


    • drealieberg says:

      Peeling them is tricky. But I usually use a VERY sharp knife and cut my squash into sections. Then I use the same sharp knife to peel it. It seems to work. Try it out!
      Also, I haven’t had much experience with my squash being strings. But I think Jean is right, once it’s food processed I don’t think it will be stringy for you! good luck and watch your fingers!!!

    • sundya says:

      I read somewhere that if you put the whole squash into a hot oven for about 10 minutes, it will be much easier to peel. I haven’t tried that yet…
      I usually cut into sections like Andrea does (then scooping out all of the seeds and stringy parts) and it makes it more manageable, then I use a good sharp peeler.

  3. sundya says:

    this looks amazing!! I’m going to make it tonight for an appetizer….maybe I’ll add some caramelized balsamic onions for the kick! hope you feel better soon!! xo

  4. Jean says:

    A thought for Karen Anne —

    I do best with a lyre shaped vegetable peeler or a serrated blade straight vegetable peeler. You might try just cutting them open lengthwise and roasting in the skin. Cover with aluminum foil to prevent drying. Then you can scoop out the flesh without having to peel at all. I think a food processor will help with the strings. Congrats on your bumper crop.

    • drealieberg says:

      I also cut my butternut squash in 3 sections to make each section easier to handle. A sharp knife is what I use to peel it. Seems to work fine for me. Still a pain, but worth it! Plus I still have all my fingers to show!!

  5. Karen Anne says:

    Thanks, Jean.

  6. HeidiK says:

    That’s funny, I am always daunted by peeling butternut squash too, when recipes call for cubes.
    But the cubes in these pictures look magnificent!

    Great pictures — and I especially love that first windmill one!!

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