Tuesday, October 21, 2014

kabocha squash toasts with miso jam.

In my humble opinion, the best way to get food into one’s mouth is not via a fork but via a slice of bread. 

I am very adept at using bread as a utensil and doing so allows you to explore so many toppings.  Avocado and feta! Peanut butter, apple butter, and chia seeds (a personal favorite at the moment)! Roasted tomatoes and burrata!  Do you see how many possibilities exist? SO MANY.  It’s kind of exhausting but it also ensures you will never ever be bored.  Toasted bread and toppings is the answer to all of the “I’m hungry what should I eat?” questions. 

When I stumble across a recipe that encourages one to use toast as a base for all of my favorite things (miso! cheese! squash!) you can pretty much guarantee I will be making it.  

These toasts are kind of incredible. Sweet and salty miso jam is the perfect base for tender squash (roasted with just a hint of smoked parika) and then layered with creamy goat cheese and crunchy salty pumpkin seeds. These are infinitely pop-able and absurdly addicting.  They also further validate my thought that everything is best when served on a slice of bread.  

Kabocha Squash Toasts with Miso Jam
Recipe adapted from Tasting Table

Yield: 4 servings

For the Miso Jam

¼ cup red or white miso paste
¼ cup honey
2½ tablespoons water

For the Kabocha Squash Toasts

¼ medium kabocha squash (12 ounces), sliced ⅛-inch thick
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ½-inch thick baguette slices, sliced on a bias, toasted
Miso jam
¼ cup goat cheese, softened
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
Pinch of flaky sea salt
Olive oil for drizzling

Make the miso jam: Whisk the red miso paste, honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to jam consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to an airtight container and let the jam cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator and use within 2 months. Makes about ⅓ cup.

Make the pumpkin toasts: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  On a parchment lined baking sheet, places your pieces of squash and sprinkle them with the olive oil and smoked paprika.  Roast for about 10 minutes or until the squash is tender and just beginning to brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. 

To assemble, spoon about 1 – 2 teaspoons of the miso jam over each toast (depending on the size of your bread). Place a few pieces of squash on each toast. Crumble the goat cheese on top and sprinkle each toast with pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with some olive oil. 

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