We finally have our electricity and gas back on and are able to drive in and out of our canyon. Life for many in Boulder is far from normal as so many people lost their homes or will not be able to return to them for months but there is much progress and the downtown area is beginning to return to its familiar hum.
Taking a hike with my husband and pup, I am reminded how awesome nature is in its ability to recover and rejuvenate itself. From the deluge of rain that destroyed so much, green grass sprouts and the landscape that was ripe fodder for a fire is now revived. The leaves are turning those beautiful hues of russet, squirrels are gathering for the winter and I am in awe of the cycle of life and nature that rarely misses a beat.
With the mornings and evenings suddenly quite crisp, I’m beginning to think about pulling out my cozy sweaters and boots and stoking up the fireplaces. I also find myself thinking about entertaining and connecting with friends for a glass of juicy red wine and some seasonal appetizers.
Here is a quick and easy twist to a summer favorite using butternut squash instead of tomatoes to give it an fall flavor and heartiness.
Autumn Butternut Squash, Cannellini Bean & Goat Cheese Bruschetta
1 Baguette (I like to use a seeded baguette)
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into a small dice
1 scallion, green part sliced thin
3/4 cups canned cannellini beans, drained well
1 small clove garlic, minced fine
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a few extra tablespoons for brushing the baguettes
2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
A few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Spread across a foil lined sheet pan.
Place the pan under broiler and cook the squash for 5-8 minutes, watching closely and tossing occasionally. When the squash is lightly browned and tender, remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, toss together the beans, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, scallions and the garlic. Add in the butternut squash, season with salt and pepper and give it one last toss.
Slice baguette into rounds, brush one side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place in a toaster oven or under a broiler for a minute or two, until bread begins to brown. Remove from the oven or toaster.
Place a spoonful of the squash mixture on the toasted rounds, sprinkle with some crumbled goat cheese and garnish with a few thyme leaves.