Thursday, October 30, 2014


As a mom as busy as I am between our family, our home and feverishly building my IndomitableStyle™
   brand, I like shortcuts that make cooking unique but simple.  This is a common factor in households across America and grocery stores are catching on quickly, stocking pre-cut fruit and veggies to help caregivers provide a healthy meal in half the time.  

When I set out to the market, I wasn't sure what I was going to concoct, but I knew I wanted it to properly reflect the season (with IndomitableStyle™
  of course).  I came across a packet of freshly chopped butternut squash and from there, I came up with the idea of butternut bruschetta.  Knowing the components of a proper plate, I knew color and flavor were key components here, especially when it came to a recipe that was quite original.  So in the back of my mind, I went through the scale of popping colors to go along with the orange colored squash.  Red, green, black and white are all colors I thought would stand out on this plate.  My creative juices began to flow thinking of what ingredients I would add to my bruschetta.  I could already taste it, smell it and feel the texture just thinking about it, so here is what I chose. Green capers and parsley represented freshness and bite, red Craisins® represent the season, pop of color and texture; black pepper enhances the depth and gives it a kick.  Salt you can't see, but you can definitely taste it and it's the greatest compliment to balance the sweet taste of the Craisins® (dried & sweet cranberries).  White parmesan cheese gives it a unique finishing touch and an unexpected element of flavor.  Last but not least, the smoothness and rich flavor of extra virgin olive oil, garlic and a crispy toast crunch is in keeping with the traditional bruschetta presentation and flavor.  


3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (reserve 1/4 for drizzling/garnishing)

1 finely chopped garlic clove 

1 pkg pre-cut butternut squash (or 1 whole butternut squash), finely diced

1 jar capers

1/2 cup Craisins®

1 bunch freshly chopped parsley

2 tbsp pepper

2 tbsp salt 

3/4 cup parmesan cheese reserved for garnishing

Fresh loaf of thinly sliced Italian or French baguette bread 

In The Meantime:

Making your own Italian bread toast is simple and takes a matter of minutes.  For generations my Italian ancestors used any and all left over bread, with the motto "nothing goes to waste!"  Day old bread turned into Italian bread toast for breakfast.  For lunch, a panini was in order with fresh Sopresatta and provelone.  If there was anything left by the end of the day, the toast was used to accompany a pasta meal.  In fact, it was one of the favorite crispy treats I looked forward to at my grandmothers, especially when it accompanied hand rolled cavatelli and red gravy that was loaded with meatballs, pork and beef that melted off the bone.  


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Whether your bread is a day old or fresh off the press (loaf of Italian bread or French baguette), it should be sliced no more than an inch thick.

A bowl of olive oil and a pastry brush is what I use to brush olive oil on both sides of my bread before placing it on a baking sheet.  If you don't own a pastry brush, simply drizzle your olive oil on both sides of your bread or even dip the bread into a bowl of oil (use sparingly).

Next, place your bread on a lined baking sheet and place it in a preheated oven.  This takes minutes, so watching it until it turns golden with light brown edges will provide you with your best results.


In a large sauté pan, begin to heat the olive oil on low, but not allowing it to get too hot)

When the olive oil is warm, add 1 finely chopped garlic clove, 1 package of finely diced butternut squash over a medium flame

When the squash becomes iridescent add the rest of your ingredients and sauté, remembering to reserve the cheese and additional extra virgin olive oil for garnishing  

Once you can easily pierce your squash with a fork, your ingredients are finished and ready to bring to the plate

Arrange your toasts neatly on a plate and with a table spoon, scoop the ingredients onto each toast slice

Sprinkle the fresh parmesan cheese on top of each bruschetta and drizzle the remainder of the olive oil on top and serve hot or cold!

 Instead of an appetizer, turn your bruschetta into a meal.  This is original comfort food at its finest.  Rather than scooping the bruschetta over Italian bread, place your scoops over your pasta.  The flavor is truly decadent.


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