Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Squash on Toast at ABC Kitchen

I recently went to lunch at one of my favourite eateries – ABC Kitchen, at one of New York City’s most beautiful stores ABC Carpet & Home.

The menu offered many seasonal dishes of which one I just could not get enough off. It was their roasted kabocha squash toast w/ fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar”. The flavors and textures of this creation were simply divine. Thoughtfully layered with crunchy bread, salty cheese, sweet and earthy squash, topped with chili and mint – it was divinity in each bite.

I recreated this dish in my kitchen using Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recipe and though I could not get it to taste exactly the same but it was still par excellence.

 

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You must use good quality bread and you can use any cheese from ricotta, goat cheese – I even tried it with a herbed cream cheese and it tasted so good. I would try it with butternut squash the next time around.

 

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This makes for a wonderful snack, appetizer or even a lunch dish!

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Squash on Toast at ABC Kitchen

By Mark BittmanPrint This Recipe

Time: About an hour

Yield: 4 to 8 servings

 

Ingredients

One 2 ½ – to 3-pound kabocha or other yellow-fleshed squash, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces 1/8 – to 1/4-inch thick

3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon dried chile flakes, more to taste

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar

1⁄4 cup maple syrup

4 slices country bread, 1-inch thick

1⁄2 cup ricotta, goat cheese, feta, mascarpone or cream cheese

Coarse salt
4 tablespoons chopped mint

 

Method:

Step 1

  • Heat the oven to 450.
  • Combine the squash, 1/4 cup olive oil, chile flakes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a bowl and toss well.
  • Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook, stirring every few minutes, until tender and slightly colored, about 15 minutes or a little longer.
  • Remove from the oven.

 

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Step 2

  • Meanwhile, heat another 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onions and remaining teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well softened and darkening, at least 15 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and syrup, stir and reduce until syrupy and broken down, again at least 15 minutes or so; the mixture should be jammy.

 

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Step 3

  • Combine squash and onions in a bowl and smash with a fork until combined. Taste for seasoning.

 

Step 4

  • Add the remaining oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Working in batches if necessary, add bread and cook until just golden on both sides, less than 10 minutes total; drain on paper towels.
  • Spread cheese on toasts, then top with the squash-onion mixture.
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt and garnish with mint.

 

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