“You must really like sauces,” said my sister as I aimed the ketchup onto my plate next to the Ranch, hot sauce and salsa. She was serving bean burgers that night, and while I’m sure only one condiment was really needed to moisten the buns, I just couldn’t help myself. I am known to be indecisive with the little things in life, especially when it comes to food.
Of course after the burger topping episode came a salad dressing decision. With a husband and three kids, my sister had FAR more dressing options than I ever keep in my fridge. I settled for balsamic on one half and a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette on the other. The looks I would’ve gotten for that one…luckily my sister already seated herself at the dinner table in the next room over.
I like options. And taste-testing. And creamy dips and sauces. Guacamole? Yes please. Hummus? I could easily eat it by the spoon. And peanut butter, too.
As I think about all of the different options, I’m pretty certain I’m not alone in holding this affinity. Which is why this past New Year’s Eve, it wasn’t hard for me to decide what I wanted to bring to my friends’ dinner party. I was going to bring some kind of dip – even if my boyfriend wasn’t all too sold on the idea. Fast forward to the taste-testing, and he didn’t question me again.
I chose to use up some roasted butternut squash and immediately thought to make this on the sweet and spiced side. Given the occasion, NYE, I wanted to send a healthy option to dinner, hence where the beans and low-fat cream cheese came in. Combined with the butternut, they delivered a classic creamy dip with some surprising nutritional power behind it. Placed on lightly buttered, toasted baguette slices, this was a HUGE hit at the party.
Make sure to include the toasted pecans and drizzle of honey. It really completes the crostini. This recipe wouldn’t be the same without its toppings, so no indecision here
- -1 cup roasted butternut squash, seasoned with salt and pepper
- -1 Tbsp. ginger, skins removed
- -15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
- -8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
- -1 tsp. cinnamon
- -1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- -3 Tbsp. brown sugar
- -2 cups pecans
- -1 baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- -Salted butter
- Heat cast iron or frying pan over medium-high. Add pecans, and toast until brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, coarsely chop and set aside.
- In a food processor, blend ginger until minced. Add squash, beans, cream cheese, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and sugar. Puree until smooth.
- Set oven to broiler. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet. Spread a thin layer of butter on top of each slice. Place on top rack of oven, and broil until top of bread is crispy and brown, 5-8 minutes, checking every so often.
- Remove bread from oven. Spread a generous layer of squash puree on top of each slice. Scatter pecans on top and drizzle with honey. Serve.