Appetizers Between Bread Sandwiches | Crostini Sides

Butternut squash hummus crostini + pomegranates

Brighten up your Super Bowl snack bar with butternut squash hummus crostini topped with pomegranates, micro greens, and salty Cotija cheese!

Platter of crostini with butternut squash hummus, pomegranate arils, micro greens, and Cotija cheese.

Hello friends, I hope everyone’s 2019 is off to a good start. Whether you’re tenaciously tackling your goals or slowing down to regroup and reflect—I wish you all happiness, peace, success, and full bellies in the new year. These butternut squash crostini should help with that last one! And they’re a great app to bring to your Super Bowl party, this weekend.

Hummus is one of my newest obsessions because of how quick and easy it comes together. Plus, the flavor combinations are endless. Once you get down the base recipe you can swap in any herbs, spices, roasted veg, acid, etc that you want. In fact, I used the base recipe from my Roasted beet hummus when I was developing this one. Which, if you haven’t checked out yet, you need to. V addicting and the color is gorgeoussssss.

Anyone else love to use lots of colorful food in the winter to make up for the drabness outside??

Butternut squash hummus with pomegranate arils, micro greens, Cotija cheese, and crostini.

Okay, let’s talk about crostini. I like to use a crusty baguette and slice it on a diagonal in about 1/2 inch slices. It looks a little fancier and creates a larger surface area for the toppings. Plus, that’s the way may dad does it. After I broil them in the oven, I cut the end off a clove of garlic and rub the crostini with it, similar to how I prep for my Bruschetta. This perfumes the toast and adds a nice savory depth of flavor.

So I’ll be honest, pomegranates are intimidating. I used to stay away from them until I took a cooking class with Nina Zeppay at Radical Cooks and she taught us the easiest, cleanest way to de-seed a pomegranate and I’ve been putting them on eeeeverything ever since.

Crostini with butternut squash hummus, pomegranate arils, micro greens, and Cotija cheese.

Here’s what to do. Get a big bowl and fill it with water. Cut the pomegranate into quarters and add them to the bowl. Pop out the seeds (or arils) with your hands into the water. The seeds will sink and all the pithy chunks will float to the top. Remove all the floating chunks and strain out the water. You’ll be left with beautiful, clean arils without the mess! Life changing.

While we’re debunking produce, we should probably talk about butternut squash since we’re using it in this recipe. It’s long and hard and can be difficult to maneuver (I’m aware how this sounds lol) with a knife. And if I’m being honest, it’s not my fav vegetable to prep. But this year is all about getting outside our comfort zone, so let’s challenge ourselves, shall we?

You’ll need a flat surface and a super sharp knife. The sharp knife is key since the squash is very hard. I usually attack it by trimming the ends and then peeling the skin off with a vegetable peeler. Next, I cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then cut it at the base (where it becomes bulb-like) and cut each quarter into cubes.

Pan of roasted butternut squash cubes.

Easy peasy, right?

And speaking of easy—roasting garlic. Could not be easier. Just wrap unpeeled cloves of garlic in some tin foil and pop it in the oven while you roast your veggies. You’ll be able to remove the skin easily when you take it out of the foil. I like to squeeze it out of the skin with my hands when I’m about to use it. Roasting garlic gives it a mild, nutty flavor and really mellows out the harshness you get with raw garlic.

The creamy butternut squash hummus on crusty, garlic rubbed toast with a pop of juicy pomegranate and salty Cotija cheese is a dangerously addicting combo, my friends. Seriously. After this photoshoot I ate every single one of these back to back to back to back until they were gone. YOLO.

I’ll have the demo for this recipe on my Instagram story today, so make sure to stop by and check it out. Comment your plans for the Super Bowl on my latest post!

Enjoy.

Half-eaten platter of crostini with butternut squash hummus, pomegranate arils, micro greens, and Cotija cheese.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH HUMMUS CROSTINI + POMEGRANATES

INGREDIENTS

For the hummus

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash, cubed and roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced (4 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt and pepper

For the crostini

  • Baguette, sliced diagonally
  • Garlic clove, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Micro greens
  • Cotija cheese (or feta)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wrap a couple of whole garlic cloves in tin foil and set aside. Prep squash by trimming off the ends with a super sharp knife, then peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash at the base (where it becomes bulb-like) so you have quarters, then cut each piece into small cubes.

Toss cubes in some olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in the oven on a baking sheet along with the garlic foil packet for 30-40 mins or until squash is tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Unwrap garlic and remove the skin by squeezing out the cloves with your hands. Skin will come off easily.

While squash bakes, prep pomegranate by cutting it into quarters and adding them to a big bowl filled with water. Pop out the seeds (arils) with your hands into the water. The seeds will sink and all the pithy chunks will float to the top. Remove all the floating chunks and strain out the water. Set arils aside.

For the hummus

Drain and rinse chickpeas and add to a food processor with all other ingredients for the hummus, except the water. Process ingredients til combined then slowly add water til it’s the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Cut baguette into 1/2 inch slices on a diagonal (larger surface area for toppings + fancy af) and brush with olive oil on both sides. Broil on a baking sheet for about 5 mins or until slightly golden. Watch carefully, as they can burn. Remove from the oven and immediately rub crostini with a raw clove of garlic.

Top with hummus, pomegranate arils, micro greens, cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime.

Butternut squash hummus with pomegranate arils, micro greens, Cotija cheese, and crostini.

For more party recipes check out my Light ranch veggie dip or Crockpot Korean beef with broccoli.

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