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Butternut Squash Spread on Cheese Croutons

Oxmoor House
Yield 4 dozen
Baked butternut squash and Asiago cheese blend with herbs and toasted pecans for a fabulous-tasting spread.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Asiago cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 baguette, cut into 48 thin slices
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garnishes: small sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary

How to Make It

  1. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a 13" x 9" baking dish. Add hot water to dish to depth of 1". Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour or until squash is tender.

  2. Remove squash pulp, discarding shells. Mash pulp, and place in a large bowl.

  3. Sauté garlic in butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until golden. Add garlic to squash pulp in bowl. Add cream cheese, 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, and next 3 ingredients to bowl; mash until blended. Stir in pecans.

  4. Place baguette slices on 2 large ungreased baking sheets; brush or drizzle olive oil over baguette slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400° for 4 minutes. Sprinkle baguette slices with remaining 1 cup Asiago cheese. Bake 2 more minutes or until cheese melts.

  5. Spoon 1 tablespoon squash mixture onto each cheese crouton. Place on a serving tray, and garnish, if desired.

Christmas with Southern Living 2000