Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin & White Bean Bruschetta

Some foods are really delicious but just not that photogenic. Maybe so that only the faithful will get to enjoy them.

Also I take all my photos on an iPhone, so the blame may rest on something to do with that.

So these pictures are really yellow for some reason, but don't let that discourage you from trying this bruschetta that is bursting with fall flavor. I wouldn't omit any of the ingredients, as each of them added an important something to the whole. (Except that you could probably sub butternut squash, which you can buy pre-cut and pre-peeled, for the pumpkin. That is, if you're not celebrating your own personal pumpkin week.)

The pine nuts added a crunch that broke up the other soft ingredients, and the sage... it just made it work. Before the sage, I was thinking, "hmm, yeah, this'll be fine to serve to people." After the sage, it became the dish I was envisioning and salivating over.

Speaking of salivating, did I mention the truffle oil? Yeah. Try to get your hands on some. Because it reallllly kicked it up a notch.

Pumpkin & White Bean Bruschetta
makes 3 cups bruschetta topping

1 small sugar pumpkin, hollowed out, cut into slices, peeled, and chopped into approximately 1/2 inch cubes **
1 small red onion, diced
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
8 leaves fresh sage, chopped
2 tsp truffle oil

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut and peel your pumpkin. Start by popping off the stem and inserting a big, sharp knife into a spot by the top. Then work the knife down slowly, all the way around the circumference. Slow and steady! Once you have two halves, cut them into thirds or fourths to create crescent-shaped slices. Peel each slice and then chop into small chunks. Unless your vegetable peeler is a lot heftier than mine, it's not going to cut it - I used a knife. (See note below.)

Okay ages later you have a chopped pumpkin! Toss pumpkin, diced red onion, Kosher salt, black pepper, and olive oil in a bowl.

Spread mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and roast in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until pumpkin and onions are soft and just starting to brown at the corners. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Mix cannellini beans, pine nuts, chopped sage, and pumpkin/onion mixture in a serving bowl. Drizzle with truffle oil and toss slightly to combine. Add a little more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on sliced, toasted ciabatta or French bread. (My pick: Trader Joe's Tuscan Pane loaf, with the slices cut into fourths and broiled for a few minutes.)

** Peeling a raw pumpkin is a pain in the ass, but it allows you to roast little bite sized pieces, which are ideal for this recipe. If you want to save some time, you could cut a couple corners and slice your pumpkin in half, scoop it out, roast the halves with the skin on, scoop out the pumpkin meat, and then try to dice. I can't vouch for this method, and I imagine the end result would look a little mushier than mine. But it would likely be faster!