Roasted Butternut Squash French Breads with Pesto and Kale.
I’m taking meatless Monday to a whole new level here. With butternut squash french breads!
There is nothing more that I love than a good old fashioned french bread pizza! When I was in highschool, we often made the Stouffer’s version all.the.time.
Then when Eddie and I first got married, I made homemade french bread pizzas often. Remember? It’s just so EASY! But also so good. Customizable. Personalizable. Is that a word? It is now.
I have one or two more delish ways to use squash before the winter ends and all we can think about are spring vegetables. It feels like that is forever away, but it’s really not! So let’s live up all the good squash recipes while we can.
This french bread is actually loaded (like, really!) with vegetables (I KNOW WHO AM I) – but it’s the delish vegetables that almost anyone will eat.
Things like caramelized onions!
A layer of pesto, that adds flavor to everything.
And roasted caramely butternut squash cubes.
And (not)caramelized kale, but it gets crispy like chips.
Oh and lots of fontina. And parmesan! Okay those aren’t vegetables.
But my point is that if you served me this french bread back when I still loathed all vegetables, it might have changed things. It might have got me thinking that, wow, I really do like vegetables. Wow, they really can be delicious. WOW, I want to eat this all the time!
With flavors like these, who wouldn’t?!
A note about the pesto: this is one of the only instances where I like to use prepared pesto, especially in winter. I don’t have access to a ton of fresh basil here to make my own, and while I’ve made arugula and pepita pesto before, I reeeeeally wanted some herby goodness here. Using one that’s already prepared here works because we have so many other delicious flavors going on.
This is also a time when I caramelize the onions with honey! I almost always do my onions on their own, but give them a little honey help here to speed up the process. Everything can be prepared while the squash is roasting, and then it just needs assembled and baked for a few minutes so the cheese melts.
Give me all the cheese please.
These breads are very hearty and satisfying. One of the reasons I love a meal like this is because you can totally make it your own. Use whatever kind of bread you like best. Top it with all this veg and cheese. It’s a great option for the Super Bowl if you have vegetarians coming to the party!
The other great thing is that it can be a clean out the fridge meal. Have leftover squash or broccoli from dinners earlier in the week? Throw it on. Add on other greens or veggies (roasted red peppers! corn!) that you might have from other meals – or ones that are about to go bad in the crisper drawer.
It’s also just a great option for your Monday night dinner. Just sayin’.
Roasted Butternut Squash French Breads
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 loaf french bread, ciabatta bread, or any kind of baguette!
- ½ cup prepared pesto
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 8 ounce fontina cheese, freshly grated
- parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the squash cubes on the baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until they are caramely and tender.
While the squash is roasting, heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add the butter. Stir in the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes until they soften slightly, then stir in the honey. Cook, stirring often, until the onions get golden and caramely.
Slice the bread down the center. Spread the pesto on both sides of the bread. Top with a sprinkle of the cheese. Top with the chopped kale, the onions and the squash. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Bake for 10 minutes, just until the cheese melts. Remove the breads from the oven and sprinkle with parmesan. Slice and serve.
Looks like an acceptable breakfast to me!