I love winter squash; it has so much flavor and pairs well with any number of things. Here, the sweetness of the squash is combined with the slight saltiness of ricotta salata (swap in feta if you like), peppery arugula, and a piquant sundried tomato pesto-all served up on black bread.
12 slices (1/2-inch thick) peeled butternut squash (1 pound)
4 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
3 tablespoons almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
8 slices black bread
1 bunch arugula, well washed and dried
5 ounces ricotta salata, cut into 12 thin slices
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season with salt, pepper, and sage. Roast until the squash is tender, about 25 minutes.
2. In a small pot of boiling water, cook the garlic and the sundried tomatoes 1 minute to blanch. Drain and transfer to a blender or food processor along with the almonds, vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and 1/3 cup water. Puree until smooth; season with salt. Spread the mixture on one side of each of the bread slices.
3. Top with arugula, squash, cheese, and another layer of squash and close.