Bacon, Cream Cheese, and Butternut Squash Melts with Kale Pesto

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I am going to keep this short as I know most of us likely have places to go, people to see, and things to do.  I wanted to make sure I posted this however, as I think it’s also likely that many of us will have some leftover squash to contend with – and perhaps some greens too – this weekend.  I dreamed up this idea while stirring a creamy pot of butternut squash risotto that uses bacon as its base flavor.  The combination is so good there, that I thought it had to work in other recipes as well.  I am pretty sure I was right, but I’ll let you be the judge of that!

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Bacon, Cream Cheese, and Butternut Squash Melts with Kale Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For the Melt:
  • ½ - ¾ Cup Cooked/Roasted/Mashed Butternut Squash (From ½ of a Medium-Sized Squash)
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 3 Slices Cooked Bacon
  • 4 Ounces Fontina Cheese, Shredded (or Other Melty Cheese)
  • 2 Pieces Lavash Flatbread (or Large Tortilla, Wrap, etc.)
  • Cooking Spray
  • For the Pesto:
  • Lightly massage the kale with a bit of the olive oil before placing it in a food processor (This will soften it,
  • 1 Small Bunch Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale, Center Ribs & Stems Removed
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Chopped
  • ½ Cup Walnuts
  • ½ Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
Instructions
  1. For the Melt
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray (This will help the underside of the bread, brown).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash and cream cheese until fully incorporated.
  4. Lay one piece of Lavash on the parchment. Spread the squash and cream cheese mixture evenly over the bread, leaving a border on the edge, as the cheese will melt down and out! Top with bacon, and the shredded cheese. Cover with the 2nd piece of Lavash.
  5. (Optional) I slice the Lavash into 6 pieces before placing it in the oven, because it's much easier to do it then, than when it's oozing!
  6. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until the squash is warm and the cheese melted.
  7. For the Pesto
  8. Lightly massage the kale with a little bit of the olive oil to soften it, before placing it in a food processor. Add the garlic and walnuts, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  9. Slowly stream in the olive oil until the mixture is pureed.
  10. Remove from the processor, and stir in the lemon juice.
  11. Serve alongside the melt.
Notes
Pesto typically includes cheese, but I thought that the melts were rich and cheesy enough to pair better with something greener and nuttier. Feel free to use your favorite store-bought or herb-based pesto too!

 

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9 Responses to Bacon, Cream Cheese, and Butternut Squash Melts with Kale Pesto

  1. Um. I’m drooling. I love finding new ways to cook squash. Pinning this baby for later… after I recover from the Thanksgiving food coma, of course :) Have a great holiday!

  2. kale pesto – that’s brilliant!

  3. october moon says:

    Amazing photographs! You are making this vegetarian drool! :P

  4. ohlidia says:

    Oh, how fabulous that looks! I need to try this jj!

  5. Pingback: 3 Tips for Making Super Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto | jjbegonia

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