It's like someone gathered Fall and smashed it on toast.
This toast hits all the flavor and texture profiles. It's slightly sweet from the pumpkin/squash and a little salty with the goat cheese. The sage leaves and pumpkin seeds give a much needed crunch and the spices well, they spice things up.
If you wanted a sweeter toast, then skip the goat cheese and drizzle maple syrup on top and finish with a light sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. I went the savory route because I'm not a huge sweet tooth and the squash was enough sweetness for me.
Also, I found a tiny little butternut squash at the farmer's market this week that was too cute too pass up, so I decided to use that for this toast, but any squash/pumpkin will work here.
Begin by roasting the squash with S+P and a drizzle of oil. Make sure to roast cut side down to get some caramelization on the flesh and also to stabilize the squash.
While the squash is roasting, fry up some sage leaves.
The key is make sure the oil is below 300F.
Any hotter and it will turn the sage leaves black.
The leaves will darken once they come out of the oil so be sure to remove them after a few seconds. Drain on a paper towel.
Once the squash skin is wrinkly and brown, the flesh should be tender.
Warning: The aroma will attract any animals (or humans) in the area. Plan accordingly.
Scoop out the flesh using a spoon.
Place the spoon in your mouth, close your eyes and imagine yourself floating on a pile of fallen multi-colored leaves. Open your eyes and realize you are in your sad kitchen living your sad life and be thankful you have allowed yourself the pleasure of eating carbs.
Now, wipe your tears and slice some bread.
The Manresa Bread Project is the only reason I wake up at 6am and fight with strangers over illegal parking spots on a Sunday.
They are sold at the Palo Alto and Campbell farmer's markets.
If you don't know what Manresa is then click here and prepare to be amazed. (If you don't feel like clicking it's a three Michelin star restaurant in Los Gatos, CA that will give you LIFE.)
Anyway, spoon the squash on a piece of toasted bread.
Now for the fun part, TOPPINGS!
This toast is best enjoyed with a glass of wine.
I went for an Italian wine, Chianti to be exact, because I felt like it paired well with the sage and goat cheese. But really, it doesn't matter. Your favorite wine will do the trick ;)
Insert overhead image to feel food blogger AF.
So. Much. Fall.
1 small pumpkin/squash, cut in half and seeded (or buy pumpkin puree, if you're feeling lazy)
a slice of bread
a few sage leaves
handful of pumpkin seeds
goat cheese, for crumbling on top
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
S+P, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F
Season cut and seeded squash/pumpkin with S+P and a drizzle of olive oil and roast cut side down until squash is tender, roasting time will depend greatly on the size of the squash. The skin is a good indicator of doneness, if it is browned and wrinkled the flesh should be tender. About 45 minutes is a good starting point. My squash were small so 30 minutes was enough time.
In the meantime, fry the sage leaves in oil no hotter than 300F for a few seconds and drain on a paper towel. (Sage leaves will darken after they come out of the oil and will turn black if the oil is too hot.)
Once tender, spoon out the squash/pumpkin flesh and smash it onto toasted bread with a fork.
Top with goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, sage leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
Add a sprinkling of cinnamon and coriander for a warm and savory finish.