November marks the beginning of holiday party season! Give your guests something simple yet delicious to munch on while they are waiting for the main “ta-da!” A crostini bar provides a great way for guests to mingle as they test their palettes with an assortment of toppings for these “little toasts”. Thinly sliced baguettes make the best base and the array of toppings is virtually limitless! Get creative with the toppings by making a homemade hummus or bruschetta. Offer a variety of wine pairings and your event is set for success.
Here is a simple, seasonal recipe for your holiday crostini bar:
Winter Squash Crostini
(recipe courtesy of Whole Foods)
1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 tablespoon olive oil, more for brushing
1 1/2 cups chopped shallots (about 4 large shallots)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 baguette, cut crosswise into (1/3-inch) thick slices
3 tablespoons almond butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange squash on a greased baking sheet, cut sides down, and bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside to let cool then transfer 1 1/2 cups of the flesh to a food processor. (Save any remaining flesh for another use.)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shallots, salt and pepper and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, brush bread all over with oil, arrange on a large baking sheet in a single layer and toast in the oven, flipping halfway through, until just golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes total.
Add shallots and almond butter to food processor with squash and purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper then spread over warm crostini and serve.