If you are looking for the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer to wow your guests, you have come to the right place.  This tasty spin on bruschetta uses fresh flavors from the fall such butternut squash, parsnips, and eggplant.  Throw in savory elements like onion, bacon, and capers, some raisins for sweetness, and some pistachios for crunch…well, you have a hit on your hands!  The layers of flavor and the variety of textures makes this the perfect bite.

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Roasted Fall Vegetable Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • Root Vegetable Caponata

    • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (“lardons”)
    • 1 small onion, diced small
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 red pepper, julienne (1/8-inch strips)
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 cups of parsnips, peeled and diced small
    • 2 cups butternut squash peeled and diced small
    • 2 cups eggplant, diced small
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (not sherry wine)
    • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
    • 3/4 cup golden raisins, soaked for 15 min in warm water and strained
    • 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped

 

  • Whipped Feta

    • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (I love using the one flavored with onions and chives)
    • 4 oz feta, drained and crumbled
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

****Serve on top of Butter-toasted slice of French Bread or Sourdough

Directions

For the Fall Vegetable Topping:Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat large sauté pan over medium heat. Add bacon to the hot pan and cook until it begins to crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic and sweat for 3 minutes.

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Season with salt and pepper; add the butter and olive oil, and then the parsnips, squash and eggplant. Stir to coat the ingredients with the butter and oil.

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Place in oven and let roast until just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring twice.

 

Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the vinegar, pistachios, capers and raisins.

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For the whipped feta:

In stand mixer with paddle attachment, whip cream cheese until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add crumbled feta, heavy cream and salt and mix for another minute.

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Toast nice crusty sourdough thick slices in butter until golden brown.

Spread with whipped feta and top with caponata.

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Note: Leftovers are amazing as a roasted vegetable sandwich smeared with the whipped feta

 

Bottom Line:  This is unique appetizer is a hit at every party and is pretty easy to make.  It is a beautiful addition to your holiday buffett and very versatile as well.  For example, you can easily substitute acorn squach in for the butternut, or use celery root for the parsnips.  Carrots and turnips are also great additions….feel free to make it your own!  I! am Chef Frankie, Always in the Kitchen, Having Fun, and Cooking with Wild Abandonment!

To see a video of me making this Mornings with Fox43, follow this link:  http://www.wbir.com/life/food/recipes/roasted-fall-vegetable-bruschetta/351682422

This recipe was based on one from the Today Show.  For the original recipe, please visit:  http://www.today.com/food/fall-root-vegetable-recipes-bruschetta-squash-soup-t104684

 

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