Rye and pumpernickel slices are toasted until golden and then topped with tangy Gorgonzola cheese spread. Brown sugar-glazed butternut squash gives the crostini a sweet bite, while fried rosemary and walnuts offer crunch.
2small loaves16 oz. /450g each rye and pumpernickel bread
2tablespoonsplus 4 teaspoons olive oildivided
1 1/3cups164 grams Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
3/4cup110 grams coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4cup22 grams whole rosemary leaves
1/2cup75 grams pomegranate arils for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare the squash: Wash and carefully cut off the stem and base ends of a whole butternut squash in half lengthwise. Dig the seeds and membranes out with a large sturdy spoon. Remove skin from halves with a sharp knife. Note: Butternut squash are firm and can be hard to cut! Microwave halves for about three minutes to soften and loosen the skin for easier and safer peeling! Place halves face down in a baking dish or roasting pan; pour water into dish around squash about 1/2 inch deep. Cover with foil and roast for an hour or until fork tender. Let cool and chop into small cubes.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butternut squash cubes and sprinkle with brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir together using a spatula (squash will be very soft!). When all of the cubes are coated and heated through, remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Toast the bread: Place 1/4-inch slices of bread on parchment lined baking sheets and drizzle all slices evenly with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the rye bread is visibly well-toasted and the pumpernickel feels firm and dry on top. Set aside.
Fry the walnuts and rosemary: Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, and a single rosemary leaf sizzles immediately when you add it to the oil, stir in all of the rosemary leaves and chopped walnuts. Cook stirring frequently until the nuts darken and the rosemary is crisp and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour onto a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle immediately with salt and pepper; set aside.
Prepare the Gorgonzola spread: Using the same pan over medium low heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil, then add minced garlic. Stir frequently and cook just until garlic begins to turn golden. Remove from heat and let cool; set aside.
In a food processor, combine Gorgonzola, minced garlic, cream cheese and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Puree until mixture is whipped and smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl so that all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Assemble the crostini: Evenly spread the cheese mixture onto the toasted bread slices, then add equal amounts of cubed butternut squash. Top each crostini with pan fried walnuts and rosemary. Garnish with pomegranate arils just before serving.