The answer to your fall entertaining prayers. To be completely honest, this recipe idea wasn’t even on my radar until I fell into a boatload of butternut squash from our friends’ garden. I was trying to find as many ways as possible to use it up (still am), but this Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage just popped into my head! I love it when my brain cooperates with my creative personality 😉
Man, oh man, am I so happy with how these little fellas turned out. This was one of those recipes that I didn’t have completely mapped out in my head before I started cooking, so I sort of invented it as I went along, and the results were spectacular! Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage are going to be my new go-to for every cocktail party, potluck or barbecue I’m attending between now and Christmas. They’re just that appropriate! (And sooooo tasty.)
Before we get to the recipe, tell me, how was everyone’s first weekend of October?? Can we believe it’s THAT month already? I’m up in NorCal right now hanging with the fam for a few days, and if it wasn’t for the little bit of cloudy, rainy weather we got in the Bay Area yesterday, I’d say it still feels like summer to me!
In Santa Barbara, we tend to get our first big rain the last week of October. Fingers crossed the case is the same for this year (or maybe we luck out and get it even a little earlier?)
Either way, these Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage are perfectly suitable for warm or cooler weather, that’s another thing that’s so great about them! As long as you can handle turning on the oven for just under 30 minutes to cook the squash and crostini, there’s hardly any heat involved in putting these bad boys together. We do crisp up the prosciutto and sage on the stove top, but that barely counts as “cooking.” Otherwise, assembling the crostini is the hardest part! But soooo worth it.
You know what else is great about this recipe? We make a hefty portion of the creamy, garlicky butternut squash-goat cheese spread, so you’ll have some extra left over even after you generously cover your crostini with it. Use it as a dip for veggies, pita chips, etc. (it’s eerily similar to my favorite Pumpkin Curry Hummus recipe, but without the curry flavor) or spread it onto your sandwich the next day. The possibilities are endless!
So let me get down to it and tell you how to make these little bites of heaven called Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage:
Whip up the butternut squash-goat cheese spread. The squash takes a 20 minute turn in the oven to get nice and soft and roasted, then we whir it in the food processor (or high-powered blender) with creamy goat cheese, fresh garlic and rosemary, and just enough olive oil to get the spread moving along (i.e. not dry and chunky.)
We need some crunchy crostini to pile our toppings on! Little brush of olive oil, a quick turn under the broiler, and we’re rockin’ and rollin’ in just about 5 minutes.
Time to get crispy! We get our prosciutto frying in a saute pan, and add the fresh sage with a touch of olive oil afterwards (this helps add some savory prosciutto flavor to the sage which is BOMB.) Once we’ve crisped ‘em both, we chop them all up together. We want all of these flavors combined as much as possible.
(Almost) the last step! Assembly. Generous dollop of butternut squash-goat cheese spread, meet crostini. Crispy prosciutto and sage, meet butternut squash-goat cheese spread. Team, you make the perfect trifecta.
The most important step, ENJOY! Our over-the-top tasty Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage is best enjoyed slightly warm. If you’re not eating them right away, they happen to reheat beautifully.
And there you have it folks! The ultimate fall entertaining appetizer. Make it now, make it later, make it 100 times between now and later, either way, you’re not going to miss this one!
A creamy butternut squash and goat cheese spread slathered on crostini and topped with crispy prosciutto and sage. The perfect fall appetizer!
- 2 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1/2 of a large squash)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 2 1/2 ounces soft goat cheese
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
- 1/3 cup fresh, whole sage leaves
First, make the butternut squash-goat cheese spread. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, combine squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Pour onto prepared jelly roll pan and roast in oven for 20 minutes, or until squash is fork tender.
Place roasted squash in a food processor with goat cheese, garlic, rosemary, and additional ¼ teaspoon salt. Once mixture has begun to break down, slowly stream in additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse until mixture is nice and creamy with minimal lumps.
Next, make the crostini. When you remove the squash from the oven, turn the broiler on high. Place baguette slices on a large cookie sheet and brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Place under broiler for about 1 ½ minutes per side, or until both sides are a nice golden color. Keep a close eye on these, as they can go from golden to burnt very quickly.
Finally, make the crispy prosciutto and sage. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once olive oil is heated, add prosciutto. Depending on the size of the pan, you may need to do this in batches. Cook the prosciutto in the oil until crispy, about three minutes per side. Remove prosciutto from pan and place on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.
Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the saute pan (still over medium-high heat) and then add sage leaves. Cook until crispy and fragrant, two to three minutes. Remove the sage leaves to the same plate that the prosciutto is on to drain excess oil.
Transfer prosciutto and sage to a cutting board and chop up roughly.
Now we’re ready to assemble the crostini. Spread a generous amount (about a tablespoon) of the butternut squash-goat cheese mixture over each piece of crostini, then top each piece with prosciutto and sage. Enjoy immediately.
Wine Pairing Note: This appetizer is just begging to be paired with a slightly oaked, yet still acidic Chardonnay.
If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen drooling over these little lovelies.
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