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Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Roasted New England Brushcetta

Brushcetta is one of those Italian favorites that can be altered, played with and tweaked to fit the season. This recipe uses New England's finest food items and a unique seasoning in the way of Bells.  See NOTE at end of recipe. Go ahead and use your imagination to further personalize brushcetta for the Holidays or what may be more specific to your culinary region. 
 

Ingredients

For 8 Serving(s)

Recipe

  • 2 cups diced squash *
  • 1 firm, tart apple, such as Granny Smith
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg, ground cloves, salt and black pepper
  • 8 slices French or other baguette bread
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
  • 1 teaspoon Bells seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Roasted New England Brushcetta Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. Peel, core and dice apples the same size as squash and add to a bowl with squash, oil, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, salt and black pepper. Toss well to coat evenly. Empty out onto a baking pan in a single layer and place in the oven until squash is tender, but not mushy. At the same time, place the sliced bread onto another pan and toast in the oven at the same time. Both will take roughly 20 minutes, but you will need to remove both pans from the oven halfway through, toss the vegetables and flip the bread to continue cooking. 
    Meanwhile, beat mascarpone cheese until smooth; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk maple syrup, garlic, Bells and vinegar well; set aside. 
    When ready to assemble and serve, remove veggies and bread from the oven. Spread equal amounts of cheese onto each toasted bread slice, topping with equal amounts of roasted squash mixture. Drizzle with maple glaze and serve.
    NOTE: Bells seasoning is a mainstay in New England cupboards and is made with sage, oregano, rosemary, ginger, marjoram, thyme and pepper.
    * Any type of squash is good here, or pumpkin or even sweet potato
     
     
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