Now everyone is way past making your typical tomato and mozzarella bruschetta. The creativity ranges from tri-tip to sushi to dessert bruschettas. This year I was not to be outdone and decided on a grilled grape bruschetta. The only problem was that when I went to the store, I had a brain slip and for some reason thought I was making a butternut squash brushcetta and bought a squash instead of grapes! Not to worry, I improvised and made a maple glazed butternut squash bruschetta topped with rosemary and pine nuts over brie cheese on a multigrain baguette.
The party, as always, was loads of fun and, of course, we did some goofing off for the camera!
However, the best part of the night was the judging. I had noticed the judges seemed to be liking mine, but I didn't get my hopes up. They announced third place and second place, neither was me.
Mr. Blackwell - The Talented Host
I held my breath as first place was announced and guess what?? Out of 21+ entries, it was me!! I was so excited and ran up to get my prize of a nice bottle of Kathryn Hall label wine, a $50 gift card to the Peasant and the Pear restaurant where I used to work, and the honor of getting to be a judge next year!
The night was a success, and in case you wanted to know my winning recipe, here it is!
Butter Me Up Bruschetta
1 multigrain baguette
3 cups Diced Butternut Squash
4 TBS. Maple Syrup
4 TBS. Olive Oil
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
3 TBS. Fresh Rosemary
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together maple syrup and 3 tablespoon olive oil. Add diced butternut squash to the maple syrup mixture and season generously with salt and pepper; toss until well combined. Evenly spread the squash on a rimmed sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the squash is fork-tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium-high to high heat. Brush the bread slices on both sides with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Grill the bread until grill marks begin to form and the bread is golden brown, about 4 - 5 minutes per side.
Spread a thick slice of brie cheese onto each slice of bread. Top with a pile of butternut squash and sprinkle with pine nuts and rosemary. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy with a napkin!