You would be justified in puzzling (or in K's case, grimacing) at this list of ingredients. Squash, honey, caperberries, walnut oil—these are unnatural-sounding bedfellows. But, as 'inoteca fans will attest, Jason Denton know his way around a bruschetta. And here he's come up with autumnal riff on caponata that gives butternut squash the same sweet-salty treatment that Sicilian eggplants have been enjoying for years. This version is earthier and without the vinegary punch, which means it's delicious on a piece of grilled bread (let's face it, most things are) or as a rustic winter side like you see here.
Butternut Squash Bruschetta
Adapted from Jason Denton
Denton recommends serving the squash topping at room temperature, but it's delicious warm, too. I would recommend cutting the squash into 1/2- or 3/4-inch cubes to reduce the baking time—otherwise, the honey-caper-walnut mixture can char.
2 cups squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons honey
1⁄2 teaspoon chili flakes
10 caperberries, roughly chopped
10 walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of pepper
1 baguette, cut on a bias into twelve 1½-inch-thick slices
6 teaspoons walnut oil
4 teaspoons asiago cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Gently fold the ﬁrst 8 ingredients together in a medium bowl. Spread mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, gently stir ingredients, and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and adjust seasoning to taste.
Meanwhile, toast the baguette slices until slightly crisp. Scoop a generous tablespoon of the squash mixture onto each piece of baguette. Garnish with a drizzle of walnut oil and grated asiago.