Butternut Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions by Chef Chloe
First breaking onto the culinary scene as the only vegan chef to capture the top prize on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, Chef Chloe Coscarelli has since been recognized for bringing vegan cuisine to mainstream as an award-winning chef and best-selling cookbook author. Debunking the myth that vegan cooking is bland and visually unenticing, Chloe shares her bright, colorful and tasteful recipes using fresh, healthy ingredients. She has published three best-selling cookbooks, Chloe’s Kitchen,Chloe’s Vegan Desserts and Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen. The New York Times, Forbes, Inc. and Zagat have each recognized Chloe in their 30 Under 30 series.
Lucky for us, Chloe agreed to share one of her most appetising recipes- Butternut Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions. Before we proceed, here is what she says about it- "My butternut-loving heart be still! Sweet roasted butternut squash mashed with caramelized onions smeared on crostini will make you never look back on “regular” bruschetta. The tangy drizzle of balsamic and fresh mint is a perfect refresher to the otherwise sweet and spicy appetizer!".
- 4 cups (1-inch cubes) peeled butternut squash (about 20 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- ¼ cup fresh mint, cut into chiffonade (see Tip)
- 1 thin baguette, cut into ¼-inch slices on the diagonal
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread butternut squash on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Let cook for 25 to 30 minutes until fork tender. While roasting, turn with a spatula every 10 minutes and add more olive oil if needed. Remove from oven and increase heat to 425 degrees.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, and season with salt. Let cook until very soft and caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add maple syrup and crushed red pepper, and let cook 1 more minute.
- Combine squash and onion mixture together in a food processor and pulse about 5 to 7 times until just barely incorporated and still fairly chunky. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Place bread slices on a large baking tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake 5 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Generously top bread with butternut squash mixture and generously drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh mint and serve immediately while warm.