These mini butternut squash tarts are the perfect vegetarian two-bite holiday party appetizer offering. They look so chic and elegant, but thanks to the magic of puff pastry, they're a snap to pull together.
12.5-3 lbbutternut squashpeeled, seeded, and diced into ½" cubes
2sheetspuff pastrydefrosted in the fridge overnight
sea saltto taste
cracked black pepperto taste
Preheat the oven to 400*. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil or parchment paper.
Start the caramelized onions. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil and butter, and heat until the butter foams and subsides. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, stir to coat the onions in the fat, and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir continuously until the vinegar stops bubbling. Add 1 tbsp fresh sage, stir, and cook 1 minute longer. Turn off the burner and remove the onions from heat.
While the onions are caramelizing, prepare and roast the butternut squash. Trim the ends from the squash, then peel and seed. Dice the squash into ½” cubes. Keep the size small so that multiple pieces can fit into the tarts. Toss the butternut squash with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the squash over the baking sheet and roast in the oven until golden brown and tender, 15-17 minutes.
Line two fresh baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tsp water and set aside.
Dust a work surface with flour. Remove the puff pastry sheets from the fridge. Unroll one sheet and lay on the flour dusted work surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out any fold marks. Then, using a pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or a sharp knife, divide the puff pastry sheet into 16 even squares. Transfer the squares to the parchment lined baking sheets, spacing them about ½” apart (you can easily fit 15 on a sheet, and might end up with a spare square or two depending on the size of your sheets).
Use your pastry wheel or the tip of a sharp knife knife to score a square about ½” an inch from the edges of the pastry squares, then use the tines of a fork to dock the center. Brush each square with the egg wash.
Place a teaspoon of ricotta cheese into the center of each square. Top the cheese with a few slices of onions, and approximately 1 tablespoon of butternut squash cubes. Chill 15 minutes or up to 24 hours (see notes).
When you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400*. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of fresh sage. Serve hot or room temperature. Makes 32 squares. For a cocktail party, plan on two squares per person.
You can condense the trays for fridge storage by stacking them on top of each other. To do so, set a wire rack on top of one of the trays to create a makeshift shelf, and then set the other tray on top of that. Carefully cover the tray stack with aluminum foil, then transfer to the fridge.
Mini Butternut Squash Tarts https://oursaltykitchen.com/mini-butternut-squash-tarts-with-caramelized-onions-and-ricotta/