Acorn Squash Tart with Prosciutto and Pomegranate
I never used to care about the food at holiday parties.
In the Cocktails and Confessions era, Selena mostly forgot about the “eat” part, opting to simply “drink and be merry.” Sequins and champagne were the highlights of the season, and things like cheese plates and fancy finger food seemed more like festive party decorations than necessities. (Bad, Selena.)
But over the past few years, I’ve noticed a shift. Maybe it’s because anything more than a glass of champagne guarantees an extended stay in the hurt locker (help me, I’m old), or maybe my roommate has finally started to rub off on me, but I’m now very much into holiday apps.
I deeply appreciate a well thought out selection of cured meats and cheeses, and I certainly won’t say no to the occasional pig in a blanket or Christmas cookie with my wine spritzer (aka party drink of modern CHAMPIONS).
Logan is quite pleased.
Given my growing love of holiday party fare, I’ve committed to upping my seasonal appetizer game. I’m 99% sure beef tenderloin crostini will always be my favorite, but this Acorn Squash Tart with Prosciutto and Pomegranate certainly gives those boss bites a run for their money.
Realistically, anything with puff pastry and melted cheese is a serious crowdpleaser, but this tart takes things a step further. The buttery, flaky pastry is topped with creamy fontina and goat cheese, sprinkled with fresh thyme, and then decorated with thinly sliced prosciutto and crescents of roasted acorn squash. Once the tart is perfectly puffy and golden brown, it gets finished with more crumbled goat cheese and lots of ruby red pomegranate arils. It’s sweet and savory MAGIC.
And the colors! All kinds of merry and bright.
Please don’t be intimidated by this tart’s puff pastry element, peeps. It’s store-bought. I’m all about scratch cooking, but when it comes to puff pastry…fuck no. I hate making the stuff. I still have acid flashbacks to baking various puff pastry creations under the gun at culinary school—so much folding, and rolling, and sweating, and praying. Ain’t nobody got time for that during the holiday season. Especially when you can buy perfectly good dough at the supermarket.
(If you happen to be a weirdo unicorn that enjoys the misery process of puff pastry making, The Kitchn can walk you through a good dough recipe.)
I’m clearly pushing this tart as an appetizer, but it also makes a fun brunch or dinner option. And as always, feel free to make it your own. Delicata or butternut squash would be equally delicious here, and the sky’s the limit when it comes cheese variations. It’s also fabulous sans prosciutto for ze vegetarians. (Hallelujah!)
p.s. Congratulations to Elizabeth, the winner of last week’s giveaway, and a huge thank you to everyone that entered!! I really appreciate so many of you sharing your holiday traditions with me. I know you only did it for the KitchenAid Coffee Maker and Hatchery goodies, but I laughed, cried, and generally felt all warm and fuzzy reading about your favorite seasonal activities. I wanted to do all of them. (Particularly the ones involving pajama sets and booze.) Happy holidays, friends!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 small acorn squash delicata also works perfectly
- Kosher salt
- 2 sheets frozen puffed pastry thawed (from a 17.3-ounce package)
- 2 cups grated Fontina cheese
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme optional
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese divided
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto torn into 3-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
In a small bowl combine the olive oil and syrup. Briefly set aside.
Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Slice each half crosswise into ½-inch half moons. Brush the squash on both sides with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the squash over halfway through the cooking time.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Gently roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to smooth it out. (Aim for something about 12” by 10.”) Transfer each sheet of pastry to the prepared baking sheets. Gently score a ½-inch border around the edge with a paring knife. Pierce the pastry all over inside the border with a fork to help release steam while the pastry bakes. Brush both with a little olive oil.
Transfer the puff pastry to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven
To assemble each tart: Top with 1 cup Fontina inside the scored border. (If the pastry has puffed up inside the border, simply flatten it slightly with a spatula.) Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon thyme and top with half the prosciutto. Add 1 ounce goat cheese and 6 slices of squash.
Return tarts to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is lightly browned and the prosciutto has crisped around the edges.
Finish the tarts with the remaining goat cheese and the pomegranate arils.
Slice each tart into 12 pieces with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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