What would I take with me to a deserted island? Most likely, a loaf of bread and a serrated knife, so that I could make crostini with whatever I could hunt and forage. Although let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t do much hunting, so it would just be foraging. And a lot of crossing my fingers that the berries and greens I find aren’t poisonous.
Luckily, in the comfort of my own home, I can make crostini with any combination of flavors I would like. And most of the time, that means a nice balance of sweet and savory, and soft and crunchy. For this autumn-perfect version, I (literally) whipped up a whipped feta spread, using just three ingredients: feta cheese, cream cheese, and ground black pepper. I used Israeli feta, because it’s nice and salty, but any kind of feta will work.
I spooned the whipped feta onto crunchy toasted baguette, then topped it with golden brown roasted butternut squash, juicy pomegranate arils and a sprinkle of fresh mint. And no combination of sweet and savory is complete without a drizzle of honey.
Honey is truly the most versatile ingredient in my pantry, and I use it in everything from salad dressings to baked goods, cocktails to sandwiches. And it just so happens that it’s the perfect finishing touch to so many appetizers, including these Butternut Squash & Pomegranate Crostini with Whipped Feta and Honey.
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 baguette, sliced diagonally 1/4-inch thick (about 24 pieces)
- 1 pound cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes)
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Arils from 1 pomegranate
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- Honey, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray two rimmed baking pans with cooking spray. Place baguette slices on one prepared pan; lightly spray with cooking spray. Place squash on other prepared pan; lightly spray with cooking spray. Transfer both pans to oven; bake bread 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp (turning once), and squash 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and tender (stirring once). Allow bread and squash to cool before assembling crostini.
- Meanwhile, place feta, cream cheese and pepper in bowl of food processor fitted with knife blade attachment. Process 3 to 5 minutes or until very smooth; scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
- To serve, spread each piece of toasted bread with 2 teaspoons whipped feta. Divide roasted squash and pomegranate arils over feta. Sprinkle with mint and drizzle with honey; serve immediately.