Squash toasts with ricotta

Ingredients:

  • 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound kabocha or other yellow-fleshed squash
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • Coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 slices country bread, 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) ricotta, goat cheese, feta or mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

Heat oven to 450. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel squash, halve and seed it, and cut squash into 1/4-inch thick slices. Toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 to 2 teaspoons salt and chile flakes until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to prepared sheet and roast until tender and slightly colored, anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, flipping once about 2/3 of the way through.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add vinegar and syrup and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until onions are jammy and broken down, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Pile onions on top of roasted squash, still on their baking sheet. Use a fork to gently half-mash the mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil per slice of bread, and cook bread until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Spread cheese on toasts, heap with the squash-onion mixture, sprinkle with coarse salt and garnish with mint.

Serves 4 as a main. From Smitten Kitchen

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