While everyone else is obsessing over pumpkin-everything, I decided to make the humble butternut squash the star of this versatile, autumn spread. October is prime squash season when every good gardener has more squash than they know that to do with. And as far as I’m concerned, goat cheese will forever be “in season”. I opted to use this spread as a topping for a grilled crostini and dressed it up with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and a drizzling of local honey. But don’t stop there, you could pair this dip with a lovely spread of seasonal crudités, smear it on a sandwich, or even add it to a quesadilla. Yum.
Roasting the butternut squash brings an extra deep, warm level of flavor. Make sure to let the squash cool to room temperature to avoid melting the cheese when blending everything together. No one likes a goopy, congealed mess of cheese!
The inspiration for this recipe actually came from our honeymoon trip to Bar Harbor, Maine. While adventuring around Acadia National Park, we stumbled on the cutest, most charming pizza farm called Sweet Pea’s Cafe. This farm to table cafe was situated right in the middle of a pasture full of wild flowers complete with a few horses wandering the premises — so picturesque! While waiting for our wood-fired pizza, we were given a basket of warm bread served with… yes, a squash and goat cheese spread! This idea has stuck with me ever since and now I finally have my own version to share with you.
- 2 cups butternut squash / about ½ small squash / cubed
- 3 oz goat cheese
- ⅓ cup ricotta cheese
- 1½ TB maple syrup
- 2 TB olive oil
- 3+ TB milk
- Kosher salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Roughly cut butternut squash into one inch cubes. Arrange squash in an even layer and season with half of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender, let cool.
- Once squash has reached room temperature, place in a blender or food processor with remaining ingredients. Be sure to season again with more kosher salt.
- Pulse until smooth and creamy, adding more milk if needed. Serve with grilled bread and top with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of honey! Or pair with a seasonal spread of crudités!