Caramelized Maple Butternut Squash and Prosciutto Crostini’s are a flavorful and impressive appetizer that will be a favorite on your antipasto menu!
TGIF! Anyone else feel like this week lasted an eternity? Okay, just me?
Not even sure why I am so excited for the weekend. Maybe it’s the fact that for once we get to stay in town. Maybe it’s the fact that I get to babysit my too cute for words niece tonight? Maybe it’s because I get to go Mother of the Bride and bridesmaid dress shopping tomorrow? Or maybe, it’s just the fact that I get to relax with my fiancé, family and good friends all weekend? Yup. That’s the winner.
Not sure about you, but I love to kick off Friday’s with a crisp, chilly glass of white wine and delicious, and out-of-the-ordinary dinner. I save our one-pot, 30 minute, health minded dinners for week nights. But Friday and Saturday nights are when I truly play in the kitchen and whip up my favorite type of meals of all time; enter tapas! Something about these one bite wonders, or according to the culinary world, ‘amuse bouche’; gets me. See, culinary school was good for more than learning to use a knife pretty darn well. Originally these Spanish small plates, with a legend behind them, states that they were small pieces of bread or cured meat that party goers would cover their sherry wine glasses with, guarding them from the fruit fliers. Nowadays, tapas vary from marinated olives, cheeses, cured meats, stuffed peppers, fried croquets, tomato spread atop crostini’s, etc. If every meal I consumed consisted of meals such as these, I would be one happy woman.
So it’s no wonder that one of my favorite restaurants to treat myself to is a Spanish tapas restaurant here in KC. I love it so much that for my fiancé and I’s anniversary dinner, we chose to stay in and recreate our experience. What kinda crazy women would choose to cook her own anniversary dinner? A crazy food blogger that loves the challenge of creating restaurant copy cats…and that I dare to say maybe even tastier? Well, let me tell you even though you may not believe me, this meal was incredibly easy. Pinky promise. We were able to prep the chorizo stuffed dates (can you say the perfect marriage of sweet, salty and spicy?) the night before, leaving only them to be baked for a mere 10 minutes the night off. The bruschetta was simple as spreading homemade fig jam and creamy goat cheese onto crostini’s, and finishing off with fresh oil packed sun dried tomato. The main course was delightfully simple. Beef tenderloin seasoned with merely salt and pepper, broiled and garnished with tangy blue cheese crumbles. And don’t think I didn’t forget about dessert. This girl will never forget a sugary ending. Sliced ruby red, perfectly sweet strawberries drizzled with a vanilla crème sauce. I added a twist to our crème sauce though. I mixed vanilla protein sauce with almond milk to create a healthy version of the sugar and fat laden crème sauce; and I am not ashamed to say I drink this stuff straight. It’s that good. Pinky promise, again.
Okay, enough explaining. All this tapas talk, brings me to my fall version. As in my last post I explain my love for butternut squash, I knew I had to incorporate it in my Friday night favorites. So last weekend, when we were at our lake house with my parents, closing up shop for the season (so sad!), I thought there was no better time than to have a few hungry family members be my ginny pigs! The marriage of whipped, silky goat cheese pairs flawlessly with the caramelized, roasted butternut squash. And I may or may not have sneaked some sinful maple syrup into the mix. It takes the whipped cheese to the next level. Like an addicting, eat it straight out of the jar, skip the spoon sort of level. The crisp whole grain baguette adds slight nuttiness. And the finished touch of a crunchy, prosciutto chips enhances the sweetness with its saltiness. I am a texture freak. Anyone else or just me again? Well this little one bite wonder has it all.
Just give tapas a try. You may have a new Friday night favorite as well!
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Hungry for more healthy small bites?
If you make this recipe, make sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #WITHSALTANDWIT. I’d love to see what you are cooking up in your kitchen!2