It’s Casual Friday from Domesticate ME!

This December, Wines of Vinho Verde has partnered with Domesticate ME to bring you mouthwatering food & wine pairings and holiday tips. Today’s all about keeping it casual. For easy and delicious finger food, Serena made a Butternut Squash Crostini and paired it with a glass of Vinho Verde. See an excerpt below!

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“TGICasual Friday, friends! We have badass finger food and all kinds of exciting internet things to chat about today, so let’s get right to it.

First order of business: Butternut Squash Crostini with Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate. These sassy little numbers are one of my favorite bites in recent memory—and given last week’s epic T-Day feast, that’s saying a lot. A LOT, dammit. The flavors of sweet and savory butternut squash, earthy Brussels sprouts, and sweet-tart pomegranate are a match made in holiday heaven, but to really do this recipe justice, I feel the need to break things down for you layer by insanely delicious layer.

Starting with the butternut squash puree! Cubed squash gets tossed with a little olive oil, cinnamon, and salt, roasted until tender and lightly caramelized, then blitzed with creamy ricotta to fluffy, spreadable perfection. (I like to go all out and use a whole milk Buffalo ricotta, but calorie counters may use skim ricotta if they must.) That silky madness is slathered on crisped slices of seeded baguette and topped with a petite mound of shaved and lightly charred Brussels sprouts. Each crostini is finished with a few juicy pomegranate arils and BOOM. Teeny-tiny bites of heaven.

Flavor fireworks excluded, what I love most about this recipe is that each element can be fully prepped in advance (puree made, sprouts sautéed, pomegranate seeded, and baguette toasted), so that all you’ll have to do come party time is assemble the crostini. And assembly shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes, max, even after the requisite pre-party glass of vino. WHOOP.

Speaking of vino, you know I’ve been looking to up my wine game these days, and I’m very excited to announce that December will be Vinho Verde Month on Domesticate ME! Vinho Verde is a well-known wine-producing region in northwest Portugal, and it produces some fabulous wines that I’ve had the pleasure of learning about and tasting of late. There’s been a real quality revolution in the region over the past few decades, which has translated to some exciting varietal (aka single grape) wines in addition to the traditional blended styles that Vinho Verde is famous for, and I’m very excited to help spread the word.

The most notable thing about these wines is that they’re incredibly versatile. Their refreshing acidity and light body means that they pair well with a wide variety of cuisines, including those tricky ones that are big on spice and heat (i.e. Asian and Mexican). I have a feeling you’ll share my Vinho Verde obsession—especially since the wines really over deliver for their very approachable price—and I can’t wait to share some of my favorite bottles and recipe pairings over the next few weeks. We’re all going to be fancy wine experts!!

p.s. This crostini would be delightful with any Vinho Verde wine, but I’m partial to the Quinta da Lixa Pouco Comum Alvarinho 2015. It’s light and fruity nature plays very well with the sweetness of the butternut and pomegranate.” – Domesticate ME

For more on Domesticate ME and the full recipe plus other fun tips for Casual Friday, check out the full blog post: http://domesticate-me.com/casual-friday-butternut-squash-crostini-with-brussels-sprouts-and-pomegranate/

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