This Butternut Squash Smash Will Make You Crave Toast for Dinner

Photo: Randi Baird

Simple Green Suppers
Photo: Roost Books

Avocado toast? Perfected it years ago. Topped with sweet potatoes? Crushed it.

But butternut squash? Now that's next level—especially if you're following Simple Green Suppers author Susie Middleton's recipe, which is made with a cranberry-citrus herb butter and crispy shallots. (Is your mouth watering yet?)

"I always recommend layering flavors," the produce connoisseur says. "This recipe in particular plays with sweetness from cranberries, citrus from the lemon and orange, spice from the jalapeño, and a mix of creamy and crunchy textures from the squash and nuts."

Ready to up your toast game? Keep reading for the full recipe.

Roasted Butternut "Smash" on Whole Wheat Toast With Cranberry-Citrus Herb Butter and Crispy Shallots

Serves 2-3

For the "smash"
2 cups small-diced, peeled butternut squash
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt
3 Tbsp Cranberry-Citrus Herb Butter (recipe follows), at room temperature
2 large shallots, peeled and cut into thin slices (optional)
2 or 3 slices of peasant bread
2 Tbsp chopped toasted pecans, toasted pepitas, or rosemary roasted walnuts

For the butter
Makes about 1/3 cup

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1/4 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp very finely chopped cranberries
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp seeded and minced fresh jalapeño

1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the squash with a scant two tablespoons of the oil and one-fourth teaspoon of salt. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake, flipping with a metal spatula halfway through the cooking, for 26 to 28 minutes, until nicely browned and tender.

2. Immediately transfer the squash to a medium saucepan over low heat and add four to five teaspoons of the cranberry butter. Toss and stir, then use a handheld masher to gently mash the roasted squash and butter until it roughly holds together. (Some hunks of squash will remain.) Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm if making ahead, or keep the pan on low heat for a few minutes, stirring, if waiting until the toast is done.

3. Cook the shallots (if using): Heat two teaspoons of the oil in a small (eight-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until softened and browned, about five minutes. Transfer the shallots to a paper towel-lined plate.

4. Prep the herb butter: Put the butter in a small bowl. Add the salt and orange and lemon zest. Mash and stir the butter using a small silicone spatula or the back of a spoon. Add the cranberries, thyme, and jalapeño, and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth.

5. Preheat an oven broiler or the broiler in a toaster oven. Brush the bread slices with a small bit of oil on one side and sprinkle with salt. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Broil until golden brown on the top side, about two minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the slices over, and dot or brush the top of each slice with one teaspoon of the cranberry butter. Broil until the top side is lightly browned, about two minutes.

6. Spread the warm squash mixture evenly on the toasts. Top with the shallots (if using) and toasted nuts. Serve right away.

Each week we spotlight a buzzy and delicious recipe that’s truly genius (and easy to make) from someone who’s wowed us in the food world. We’re talking buzzy cookbook authors and Instagram foodies to brilliant chefs. You can find more mouthwatering must-try ideas from the Recipe of the Week archive.

Eating primal could be the new Paleo—and the recipe above is 100 percent compliant. And if you have leftover butternut squash, these "fries" will satisfy your cravings.

Reprinted from Simple Green Suppers by Susie Middleton © 2017 by Susie Middleton. Photographs © 2017 by Randi Baird. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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