Halloween is right around the corner, and for some, it’s exciting. For me, I’m sort of indifferent. I don’t hate Halloween; I also don’t love it. I dress up in costumes sometimes, but I don’t have the creativity that most have when it comes to Halloween costumes. I see folks who go out to Halloween parties and their costumes are so well-thought-out and planned. I just don’t have it in me, but kudos to all of you who do.
The last time I really dressed up for Halloween, someone asked my friends and me if we were “working,” if you know what I mean. Since then, the desire to participate in Halloween has sort of drifted away. I should note that I was living in the Washington, D.C., area at the time, and we were in a part of town that was infamous for a certain type of work. So maybe that’s where the question came from, right?
Anyway, this year, I’m going to give this Halloween thing a try again. Along with my friend Jennifer, we are going to attempt to dress up like two characters from “The Craft.” Remember “The Craft”? The husband has never seen it, so I made him watch the trailer the other day. The movie came out in 1996, I think, so the trailer isn’t that great, but it’s still such a classic movie for me. He didn’t seem super-impressed.
I’m talking about all this Halloween stuff because today’s recipe is a fantastic elevated snack to serve at your upcoming Halloween party. Since butternut squash is orange, it goes so well with the Halloween celebration.
- Butternut squash, cubed
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Maple syrup
- Apple cider vinegar
- Country bread, toasted
- Garlic and herb goat cheese
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange the butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 25–28 minutes until the squash is tender. You should be able to break the squash gently with a fork.
At a roasting halfway point, take out the squash and shake the pan a bit. Season with salt and pepper.
In the meantime, caramelize your onions. Cut the onions in thin slices. Heat a pan with olive oil and add the onions. Cook the onions about 15 minutes. Once the onions have broken down a bit, add a splash of apple cider vinegar and a couple of spoonfuls of maple syrup.
Continue cooking the onions roughly 15–30 minutes. I also use this opportunity to taste them and see if they need more salt, more syrup or additional cooking time. The onions shouldn’t be crunchy.
Add the onions and the squash to a bowl and gently mash together. It’s OK if the mixture is a little lumpy.
Taste to see if it needs salt, pepper or any other seasoning.
To assemble: Add a bit of goat cheese on the toast, top with squash, then serve.
There you have it, an easy and simple appetizer for your Halloween party.
Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat.Drink.Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at [email protected] or by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.