(Ph. © The Jewels of New York)When it comes to entertaining in November, no autumn table is complete without some reference to the lowly pumpkin, that humble fruit that makes its way onto Thanksgiving tables across the country each year. I'll bet you've had your fair share of pumpkin pie—but, really, if there's such a thing as a fair share I have yet to encounter it—but what about a more savory take on the classic staple? This season, I'm opting for Diana Yen's nutty roasted pumpkin crostini with ricotta and brown butter-sage sauce. They're simple yet elegant, and an all-around favorite flavor combination from the Jewels of New York founder. The best part: you don't have to wait until Thanksgiving to serve them. Just whip up a batch of these, uncork a few bottles of wine, and invite friends over. Then watch as they disappear before your very eyes!
Roasted Pumpkin Crostinis with Ricotta and Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Makes 12 servings
-- 1 2-pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
-- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
-- salt and freshly ground black pepper
-- 4 tablespoons butter
-- 12 sage leaves
-- ¾ cup fresh ricotta
-- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
-- 12 toasted baguette slices
-- ½ cup chopped toasted pecans, for garnish
Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss pumpkin, 2 tablespoons oil, and sugar in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squash is golden and tender, 25-30 minutes. Let cool on sheet.
Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, cook until golden brown color, about 2 minutes. Add sage; cook until edges begin to curl and turn dark green, 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer to paper towels to drain. Set aside brown butter.
Mix ricotta and lemon zest in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta mixture on each baguette slice. Top each with pumpkin, drizzle crostini with brown butter. Top with pecans and sage leaves.