San Francisco, a Recap // I’ve always had this strong sense of San Francisco nostalgia, as if I’d walked its streets in a previous life and was destined, someday, to return. Perhaps it was all of my dad’s retro stories of taking 1970’s SF by storm; the romanticism of it all creeping into my DNA. Anyways, this past weekend Andrew and I made my pilgrimage. To say we (I) loved San Francisco and that every inch of me already misses it would be an understatement, though not in the traditional sense that it was so different from Washington, DC. The two felt eerily similar, but with SF sporting more– variety, personality, diversity, flavors. With my immediate family newly spread across the country and my childhood home recently sold (without the real opportunity to say goodbye), having the circumstance of finding myself immersed in what had always been a fairytale- walking down wiggly Lombard Street, losing myself in the Ferry Building, bopping around Sausalito, sipping on too many cups of dark, black coffee-now this living, breathing world around me, felt safe; a mysterious sense of homecoming I never new I needed. San Francisco was simultaneously vivid and a tangible haze, the people were passionate and understatedly intellectual, the hills were steep. The food- most specifically the toast- was perfection. San Francisco, until next time. biggest love, xx
Back in Washington, DC, today I am excited to share a new Autumn favorite, inspired by my San Francisco adventure and the newly fallen leaves awaiting my return home, Caramelized Squash on Toast. Made with a savory, tangy, and sweet caramelized squash and onion spread, a creamy cannellini bean and walnut paste, and bright, fresh mint atop thick slices of crusty San Francisco Sourdough, nothing about this will disappoint. I serve my toast with a large mug of dark, black coffee.
One fiesta squash (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½” cubes
¼ cup olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes
salt & pepper, to taste
1 large yellow onion, halved, and thinly sliced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons raw walnuts
¼ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
½ large boule (cut in half along the equator) San Francisco sourdough, lightly toasted
In a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat squash, 2 tablespoons olive oil, chili flakes, and seasoning over medium-high heat. Cover the pot and allow contents to cook, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, for about 10-15 minutes, or until squash is fork tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, gently mash, then set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat until just hot. Add onions, and sauté, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften and darken, about 15 minutes. Add vinegar and maple syrup and reduce until everything is jammy (about 15 more minutes). Transfer the onion mixture to the cooked squash, gently combine, then set aside.
In a food processor fitted with an S blade, gently pulse cannellini beans, walnuts, and 2 tablespoons fresh mint until a smooth, creamy paste is formed. Set aside.
To assemble: spread cannellini bean mixture on bread. Then, spread a thick layer of the squash onion mixture. Top with remaining chopped mint, then slice into 10 equal pieces.
Nutritional Information [ per serving = 1 slice]
260 Calories, 24g Carbohydrates, 12.7g Fat, 5.7g Protein, 3.3g Fiber, 8.5g Sugar