Butternut Squash Whipped Feta with Espresso Balsamic Gastrique

Butternut Squash Whipped Feta with Espresso Balsamic Gastrique

Butternut Squash is a staple fall vegetable. Although you can buy them year-round because they store well, the fall and late winter are the best times to find them at your local farmers market or fresh from the grocery store. This Butternut Squash Whipped Feta is delicious and combines so many interesting fall flavors. The butternut squash offers its own unique sweet and nutty flavor, which is enhanced by the nutty Butternut Squash Seed Oil. The salty, acidic feta, creamy ricotta, and roasted garlic go perfectly with the butternut squash. Finished with the sweet and sour gastrique, roasted hazelnuts, and thyme, this whipped feta goes great on toast or as a dip with bread. Serve this as a Thanksgiving appetizer to hold your guests over while the turkey is still in the oven! 

Products used: Butternut Squash Oil & Espresso Balsamic, Butternut Squash Seed Oil, Espresso Balsamic Vinegar


For Butternut Squash Whipped Feta:
2 cups cubed Butternut Squash, ~ 1 inch cubes
1 head of Garlic
3 Tablespoons SOOC Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more for cooking
1 Tablespoon fresh Sage, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme, de-stemmed
1 teaspoon Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
¼ cup Hazelnuts
½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Shallot, julienned
¼ cup Apple Cider
1 Tablespoon SOOC Espresso Balsamic Vinegar
⅔ cup crumbled Feta
½ cup Ricotta
¼ cup SOOC Butternut Squash Seed Oil
1 Tablespoon Honey
For Espresso Balsamic Gastrique:
¼ cup Granulated Sugar
¼ cup SOOC Espresso Balsamic Vinegar


For Butternut Squash Whipped Feta:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Toss squash with 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, ½ Tablespoon thyme, ½ Tablespoon sage, salt and pepper; then spread out squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cut garlic bulb in half and pour about 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the exposed garlic and lay it on the baking sheet flat side down.

Roast for about 30 mins or until squash is soft enough to poke with a fork.

Spread hazelnuts on a roasting pan and roast in oven for 10-20 minutes, or until hazelnuts start to brown and become fragrant.

Once hazelnuts are roasted, remove from oven and crush into small pieces using a food processor. Set aside.

While the squash is roasting, heat up about 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a medium skillet. Saute shallots with red pepper flakes and the rest of the sage and thyme on medium heat until they become soft and translucent.

Add in apple cider and Espresso Balsamic and reduce until it thickens a bit, about 1 min. Then add in roasted squash and toss to combine.

Add squash mixture, ricotta, feta, honey, roasted garlic, and Butternut Squash Seed Oil to a food processor and blend on high for 4-5 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Remove from food processor into a bowl or storage container and let cool in fridge.

For Espresso Balsamic Gastrique:

Place a small plate in the freezer.

Add sugar and Espresso Balsamic Vinegar to a medium skillet (use a skillet over a saucepan as it has more surface area for the sauce to reduce which will save time). Turn heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer. Try not to stir too much as the sugar will stick to the sides of the pan.

To test if gastrique is done, using the cold plate and a spoon, spoon a tiny amount of the gastrique onto the plate. The plate will cool down the gastrique so we can see if it will be at the right viscosity when take it off the heat. To test for the right viscosity. it should not be too runny and hold a shape if you spread it.

When gastrique is done, transfer to heat safe container and let cool at room temp.

To Plate: Spread a large spoonful of the butternut squash whipped feta into a shallow bowl, plate or slice of toast. Drizzle the gastrique on top, and top with hazelnuts and thyme. Enjoy!