A fun new way to enjoy farm-fresh produce!
This recipe is basically a deconstructed version of one of my very favourite soups – roasted butternut squash with apple. I love the taste of roasted squash and was quite certain it would be ideal on a flatbread, garnished with just a few other ingredients to add flavour, colour and texture. You can use commercially prepared flatbreads or make your own with pizza dough; just be sure they are baked before you add the toppings. You can cook the squash and caramelize the onions ahead of time, to speed up the assembly process later. To make it even faster, swap in 2/3 cup (160 mL) canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling) for the squash. The quantities below reflect what’s needed to top the equivalent of one 10 inch (25 cm) round flatbread. This dish would make an ideal appetizer for a Thanksgiving or Christmas-time meal. If you like creative flatbreads, you might want to try this fully-loaded mashed potato flatbread or this taco version.
- 1 10-inch (25 cm) flatbread, or equivalent (regular or gluten-free)
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter (or non-dairy alternative)
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 apple, thinly sliced (pear is a delicious alternative if you prefer)
- 1 cup (250 mL) crumbled goat cheese (or feta, or dairy-free cheese product)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh thyme leaves
- 2 – 3 tablespoons (30 – 45 mL) honey
- Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare the squash by washing it, then slicing in half lengthwise. With an ice cream scoop, remove the seeds and stringy flesh and discard them. Place the halves, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking tray. Put the tray in the oven and roast for approximately 45 minutes, until the inside of the squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
- While squash is cooking, heat the oil in a medium frying pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cover pan. Cook an additional 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened completely and are beginning to turn brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Refrigerate if not using within 2 hours.
- When the squash is tender, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then scoop out the cooked squash and discard the rind. If assembling the flatbreads promptly, leave the oven on.
- Purée the cooked squash with the butter and maple syrup in a food processor (or mash together in a bowl) until smooth. Set aside. Refrigerate if not using within 2 hours.
- When ready to assemble, place the flatbread(s) on a parchment-lined baking tray. Spread 2/3 cup (160 mL) of the squash purée over the flatbreads in a thin, even layer. Sprinkle the caramelized onions on next, then scatter the apple slices and crumbled chèvre over top, followed by a little salt and pepper.
- Bake at 400F for 8 – 10 minutes, until heated through and the chèvre is beginning to brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle thyme leaves over top, followed by a drizzle of honey. Serve hot.
- Note that leftover squash purée can be made into soup (or frozen for up to 6 months for later consumption).
Serves 2 (or one hungry person).