Roasted Squash and Pesto Baguettes

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Pumpkins and squash are a low-calorie food as they are more than 90% water and have more fibre than kale and more potassium than bananas.

Technically a fruit, pumpkins and squash are a member of the gourd family which includes cucumbers, honeydew, watermelons, cantaloupe, and zucchini.

Pumpkins and squash come in all different sizes, shapes, and colours including tan, blue, white, orange, green, and red. Every single part of the pumpkin (flowers, stems, pulp, seeds, and leaves) is edible, and it can be stewed, roasted, baked, and even pickled. Roasted pumpkin seeds are an easy to prepare snack and can be sprinkled on salads and pasta dishes for a little extra nutrition.

Pumpkins are a good source of beta carotene which after its eaten becomes Vitamin A and is beneficial for eye, skin, and digestive health.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy pumpkin is pumpkin pie and the early version of the pie involved scooping out the insides, filling it with milk, honey, and spices and then baking it on hot ashes.

Roasted squash and pesto baguettes are an easy to prepare and assemble recipe which combines the nutritional goodness of pumpkin with pesto and almonds making it a delicious and inexpensive way to serve pumpkin over the holidays.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Servings: Four to six

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 level tsps. of Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ tbsps. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small tub herb and garlic cream cheese
  • 1 small jar of pesto
  • 3 baguettes or ciabatta buns
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • A handful of basil leaves

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash squash and pat dry with paper towel, remove seeds and slice it into ¼ inch thick pieces. Place squash pieces in a mixing bowl, add olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Next arrange the squash on a foil lined baking tray and bake on middle rack of the oven for about 20 minutes. Toss cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil and add to the squash in the oven. Continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing the skin and slicing squash pieces into strips.
  • Slice baguettes into half and then half again. Spread cream cheese on baguettes followed by the squash and top with pesto and sliced almonds. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves and serve.
  • Baguettes can be lightly toasted before adding the toppings and you can also add thinly sliced prosciutto or ham for even more flavour.

Bon Appétit!