Update (11/2016): ↑ Here’s a much better photo of this insanely good recipe. ↑
This is my take on a dish we had while celebrating with our family at a restaurant a few years ago. Everyone enjoyed it so much that I tried to recreate it. I never got the exact flavor because we ended up liking this version better. The restaurant’s bruschetta was topped with shrimp and used cheese more liberally. The shrimp never made sense to me, but I could definitely see this topped with a small piece of pork or duck – the crispier, the better. This recipe makes a ton, so be sure to share!
Ingredients for bruschetta:
- 2 loaves of good italian bread
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled
- Drizzle of olive oil
Ingredients for butternut topping:
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1/8 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. chopped garlic
- 8 basil leaves
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (optional garnish)
- Make bruschetta. Slice bread thinly on the bias, then grill the slices until crisp (toast them if you have to). While they are still hot, gently rub one side of each slice with the garlic clove, then drizzle with a bit of olive oil. The garlic will be raw, so it packs quite a punch. Test the first slice or two to see whether you need a lighter touch.
- Cook squash. Slice in half lengthwise, scoop seeds and strings, then microwave 11-13 minutes on High. The squash is done when it is soft and easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Heat 1 T. olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt.
- When onion turns translucent, add garlic. Cook 1-3 additional minutes, stirring often. You want the garlic to get warm, but not to brown.
- Scoop the cooled squash from its shell, discard the skin.
- Place the onion mixture and the squash into a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the larger pieces, then add basil, another pinch of salt, and a generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.
- Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Top each slice of bruschetta with a spoonful of the squash topping. Garnish with a curl of shaved parmigiano reggiano. This dish is best served with the topping just above room temperature.