If I could only eat one appetizer for the rest of my life, it'd be this Butternut Squash Crostini with Goat Cheese and Fig Balsamic Glaze. No questions asked. Crunchy garlicky baguette, creamy goat cheese, and roasted butternut squash. All drizzled with the best balsamic fig glaze and garnished with crispy fried sage. So good!
What is crostini?
Crostini is similar to bruschetta. They're both Italian appetizers and toasted slices of baguette. The difference is, crostini is more thinly sliced than bruschetta which means it gets much crispier in the oven. I don't know about you, but for me the crispier the better! I rub one side of each slice with a clove of garlic after toasting which I highly recommend. It gives it a garlic flavor but it's not too overpowering.
It was actually only recently when I learned what crostini was. I've always loved bruschetta but if I had to choose between crostini and bruschetta, crostini would win every time!
I've already shared multiple butternut squash recipes this year but it's such a great fall vegetable, I just can't get enough. Not much else screams fall as much as pumpkins do. What's your favorite vegetable to cook with in the fall? I've used butternut squash in soups and mains but I haven't shared any squash appetizers yet so I'm super excited to be sharing these now.
These crostini even top my Sweet Potato Rounds with Hummus, Pesto, and Goat Cheese! If you're looking for a gluten-free substitute, definitely check out that recipe. You can use the sweet potato rounds instead of the baguette here and just add all the toppings!
More butternut squash recipes:
- Butternut Squash Penne with Sage and Toasted Walnuts
- Butternut Squash Curry Soup with Red Lentils
- Vegan Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers with Squash and Cranberries
- Butternut Squash Risotto with Spinach and Tomatoes
I'm sharing more photos than I usually do today because I'm just so happy with how these came out and because I just really like this dish that much. Honestly. If I had to name one recipe of mine you should try, it'd be this Butternut Squash Crostini. I bought a bunch of photography backgrounds recently and it made shooting food so much more fun for me. It's crazy how much a little color can change an image. I love how the squash stands out on the blue background.
Let's talk about this Fig Glaze I used here, though. It's so good, you guys. It wouldn't be the same without it. It's made with 4 ingredients. Extra virgin olive oil, fig preserves, balsamic glaze, sea salt, and pepper. I love the combination of figs and balsamic here. You can totally use just balsamic glaze, if that's all you have. It adds acidity and savouriness that's necessary here to bring all the flavors together.
What is Balsamic glaze? Balsamic glaze, or balsamic reduction, is reduced balsamic vinegar. You can either buy it pre-made or make it yourself by cooking down balsamic vinegar. It's done when it's reduced a lot and thickens enough to cover the back of a spoon. If you're buying it already made, look for a balsamic glaze with no added sugar.
These Butternut Squash Crostini are really one of my favorite recipes ever! Hope you like them as much as I do.Print
Butternut Squash Crostini with Goat Cheese and fig balsamic glaze and crispy sage leaves - delicious appetizer or snack, easy to make GF. 40 mins!
Fig Balsamic Glaze:
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fig preserves
- 2 tbsp balsamic glaze*
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Butternut Squash Crostini:
- 1 butternut squash (about 7 cups)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil (or other high-heat cooking oil)
- 30-40 sage leaves, divided** (20 leaves for roasting, the rest for frying for garnish)
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced (1-2 days old is the easiest to slice)
- Avocado oil in a spray (or 1 tbsp)
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- 1 tbsp goat butter (sub regular butter or vegan butter)
- Creamy spreadable goat cheese
- Start by preheating the oven to 450°F (230°C).
- To make the fig vinaigrette, add the olive oil, fig preserves, balsamic glaze, and a little sea salt and pepper to a small jar and stir until combined. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and chop into bite-size pieces.
- Place the butternut squash on a big baking pan or divide it between two to give it enough space to roast. Drizzle with the avocado oil and toss to coat.
- Finely chop about 20 sage leaves and add them to the butternut squash. Use 1 teaspoon dried sage if you don’t have it fresh. Sprinkle with the rest of the spices - dried thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Roast the butternut squash for 20 minutes, tossing at the 10 min mark.
- While that’s roasting, thinly slice the baguette. Lay the slices on a baking sheet in one layer and spray lightly with the avocado oil on both sides. If you don’t have cooking oil in a spray, use a kitchen brush to brush the slices with a bit of oil so they crisp up.
- Take the butternut squash out of the oven, lower the temperature to 400°F (200°C) and toast the bread for about 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and crispy.
- After you take the bread out of the oven, carefully rub each slice on one side with the clove of garlic for added flavor.
- Lastly, fry the rest of the sage leaves for garnish. Heat a pan over high heat. Add the butter, when it melts add the sage leaves and fry till they change color and turn a little golden. Be sure not to burn them. Take them out and place them on a napkin to soak up any excess oil.
- Assemble: Take a slice of bread, spread some goat cheese on it, add a few pieces of the squash, drizzle with the fig vinaigrette, and top with a fried sage leaf.
- Best enjoyed immediately.
*You can use balsamic vinegar if you don’t have any balsamic glaze, the flavor just won’t be as deep and more vinegar-like. The vinaigrette will be a bit looser, start with only 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, taste, and adjust the amount to your liking.
**Use about 20 leaves for roasting the squash (¼ cup chopped) and the rest for frying for garnish (1-2 leaves per slice)
Keywords: butternut squash, goat cheese, fig preserves, balsamic glaze, appetizer, sage