A good crostini (toast) is comprised of multiple components, each first prepared as their own sub-recipe. Save yourself some time and prepare each component separately in advance as your time allows. By doing so, you’ll be able to assemble and turn out these restaurant-quality crostini quickly and efficiently immediately prior to serving.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 30 crostiniServings
- 1 large or 2 small red beets, scrubbed and trimmed
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 6-7 cups)
- 5 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- 30 slices baguette or country bread (whole wheat ok), ½-inch thick
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Balsamic Reduction Glaze (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Place beets on 3 layers of foil. Drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with a dash of kosher salt. Gather and crimp foil into a tight package. Roast for at least 1 hour or until fork tender. When cool, peel beets easily by slipping the skins off. Dice beets and set aside (can be made 3 to 4 days ahead).
3. Meanwhile, combine the squash, shallots, ½ cup olive oil, honey, chili flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, cumin, and coriander in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread in an even layer. Roast, stirring every 5 to 6 minutes, until tender and slightly golden, about 20 minutes (this can be done at the same time as the beets). Remove from the oven.
4. Transfer roasted squash mixture to a large bowl, scraping all juices and oil into the bowl as well. Smash with a fork until mashed but still chunky in texture. Taste for seasoning, adjusting with salt or pepper as needed.
5. Reduce oven to 350°F. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Use a pastry brush to brush baguette slices with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes – slices should be nicely toasted. Remove from oven. (Toasts can be made a day ahead and stored in a container or Ziploc storage bag at room temperature.)
6. Spread a heaping spoonful of smashed squash mixture on toasts, then top with a covering of diced beets. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and garnish with chopped cilantro.
You can also top the crostini with Balsamic Reduction Glaze.