I am here to tell you about a seriously show-stopping appetizer that should probably-maybe-DEFINITELY show up as part of your pre-dinner Thanksgiving day fare.
This is one of those dishes that just wows people. It’s EASY and can be prepped ahead, which makes it perfect as a Thanksgiving appetizer. It’s different enough that will make people think you’re weird but delicious enough to make them think you’re a genius. And that’s what I’m always going for in the kitchen. A little weird, a little genius, A LOT of delicious.
Now, I can’t take total credit for this recipe. This is completely inspired by a lunch date I had with my sister about a month ago. We were at one of the best little local spots around, and once we had settled in with our mid-day glasses of riesling, we saw a similar appetizer on the menu and immediately ordered it without any discussion. They had me at “burrata” and my sister at “squash.” When it came to the table, we both just about fell out of our chairs at how gorgeous it looked.
And then we tasted it. And fell out of our chairs again. Good thing I’m speaking figuratively here because that would have been super embarrassing, huh? No amount of dry riesling would have taken that embarrassment away.
My point is this: these burrata toasts might just be one of the best things I’ve ever (and I mean EVER) put in my mouth. It’s a wonderful mix of flavors and textures, both of which sort of pop in your mouth unexpectedly. You will be surprised at just how delicious this combo of ingredients can be.
The garlicky toast is topped with balls of buttery burrata (swoon) and pieces of caramelized, tender delicata squash, which is a new-to-me squash this year. I mean, I had heard of delicata before, but I never cooked with it myself. I am definitely a late joiner to that bandwagon. It’s lovely!
Everything gets a good dousing of balsamic vinegar for some acidity, a little smoky salt and black pepper, and then a healthy sprinkling of toasted almonds and pepitas seals the deal.
I just loooove how easily this comes together. And it’s so impressive, isn’t it? Looks way more complicated than it really is.
I love to start Thanksgiving with a few appetizers and a massive cheeseboard, but I think this year, I can settle for just these toasts. They have everything I need. And more!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 small delicata squash, seeded and sliced
Salt and pepper
8 1-inch thick slices of crusty bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
8 oz burrata cheese
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Smoked sea salt and black pepper
Toasted slivered almonds
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil and butter. Season the squash with salt and pepper and add it to the pan in an even layer.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over the squash, turning the squash over to evenly coat, and then cook until the squash is golden and caramelized, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and allow to cool slightly.
Wipe out the skillet used for the squash and return it to medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once it is hot, add in the sliced bread and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden and toasted.
Carefully remove the bread from the pan and while it is still warm, rub it liberally with the whole garlic clove.
Place the bread on a serving plate. Top with the burrata cheese and then arrange the caramelized squash over top.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar over everything and season, to taste, with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt and black pepper.
Garnish with the toasted nuts and serve immediately.