Hey Kids– It’s Recipe Tuesday!

(Yeah, I just totally made up another Special Day category– deal with it.)

OK, I’ve got to tell you guys about this unbelievable appetizer my brother Joel, his wife Kri and my nephew Daniel The Computer Genius made for us during our Thanksgiving visit to Arkansas. Honestly, it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten– and now that I think about it, many of the the Best Things I’ve Ever Eaten have been made by my brother Joel and various and sundry members of my family! Every time there’s a big ol’ Timm family get-together, somebody is guaranteed to make something that induces a lot of yummy noises, eyes raised to heaven in rapturous delight and cries for the recipe.

We can COOK, ya’ll.

But Joel, Kri, their son Julian and Daniel consistently hit it out of the park. We’re still talking about their Caramelized Pears with Blue Cheese and Black Pepper-Caramel Sauce from a few years ago… *gazes mistily into space, gently wipes drool from corner of mouth*

(You guys remember my brother Joel, right? The oboe player who got his doctorate degree from Yale but also spent one summer of his youth performing with a small traveling circus as a clown called Fancy Pants? Yeah, that one. The one who takes coffee so seriously that a couple of Thanksgivings ago he actually brought his own coffee bean roaster and fair trade beans from a private plantation in Guatemala or someplace to Arkansas with him…)

(It’s not his fault, he can’t help himself, he lives in LA.)


This year’s appetizer offering was right up there with the Best of the Best, so I’m gonna let you in on it. And promise me that you won’t immediately dismiss it just because it contains some ingredients that you think are kind of a weird pairing (like for example squash and chopped mint– stay with me here), because I PROMISE you, somehow it all works. Beautifully. Even Charlotte, my disdains-all-vegetables child ate two slices!

Here’s not only the recipe, but an instructional video– (I live to serve.)

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Squash on Toast

About an hour


  • 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound kabocha or other yellow-fleshed squash (Joel used butternut), peeled, seeded and cut into pieces 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes, more to taste
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 slices country French bread, (You could use a baguette, and make these as crostini) 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup (Joel used ricotta) or goat cheese, feta or mascarpone
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint


Heat the oven to 450. Combine the squash, 1/4 cup olive oil, chile flakes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a bowl and toss well. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook, stirring every few minutes, until tender and slightly colored, about 15 minutes or a little longer. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, heat another 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onions and remaining teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well softened and darkening, at least 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and syrup, stir and reduce until syrupy and broken down, again at least 15 minutes or so; the mixture should be jammy.
Combine squash and onions in a bowl and smash with a fork until combined. Taste for seasoning.
Add the remaining oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add bread and cook until just golden on both sides, less than 10 minutes total; drain on paper towels. (NOTE: Instead of doing this, Joel just brushed the bread slices lightly with olive oil and broiled them in the oven until toasted.) Spread cheese on toasts, then top with the squash-onion mixture. Sprinkle with coarse salt and garnish with mint. Serve slices whole, or cut into thirds.
YIELD:  4 to 8 servings                             ENJOY!!!!! 

5 Responses

  1. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I love squash…and this recipe looks absolutely yummy. Maybe I should have said more accurately, interestingly yummy.

    What a blessing to know that you “went home” for Thanksgiving and came back smiling.

  2. rachelbaker

    Looks delicious to me … and maybe its because I’m English, but the ingredients don’t look strange together at all. I guess the only problem is I have no idea how much ‘a cup’ is and I’m not sure what makes Salt Kosher.

  3. LindaB

    I’ve gotta try this! I love ANYTHING with butternut squash in it! When we were in Disney Village once, Terry ordered butternut squash ravioli at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and I thought it sounded awful! But when it came and I tasted it, it was DIVINE! It’s a very versatile veggie…..buttery, rich, tasty……love it! Your brother is my kind of guy! Love trying new things. And at my age, there aren’t many “new things” left! Thanks for this one.

  4. Kat

    Sounds delicious! I’ll have to give it a try now that I’m on a butternut squash kick!

  5. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Gracious, it’s easy to see around here that everyone is busy baking cakes and cookies, shopping, wrapping presents, and attending one Christmas party after another. So, I’ll take this opportunity to wish y’all a very Merry Christmas with God’s sweetest blessings throughout the New Year.

    We all know that our Tori is working feverishly on those beautiful cookies she makes each year….all the epitimy of an artist’s treasure of goodies.

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