Squash, Onion Jam & Chickpea Toasties

“Looks like melon
But tastes like none,
Slightly sweet, slightly earthy
And a whole lot of fun.
Adaptive in taste
And healthy too,
Roast, soup or curry
Whatever suits you.
Named after a sport
Grows not on a tree,
Squash is yummy
But you may not agree..”
For the curried chickpeas
¾ cup boiled chickpeas
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon dry mango powder
½ teaspoon paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
For the squash & onion jam
1 small acorn squash (approx 1 pound), skinned and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
½ cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt & pepper
Baguette or brown bread
Fresh Ricotta
Chopped coriander for garnish
Prepare the chickpeas
Heat the oil in a pan. Add all spices and roast for a minute. Add the chickpeas, mix well and reduce heat to cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Prepare the squash & onion jam
Add 1 tablespoon oil and some salt and pepper to the squash pieces. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 450 F pre-heated oven, or till the squash is fully cooked. I like mine with a slightly browned skin so I leave it in there for a few more minutes. Remove from the oven, add the curried chickpeas and mash coarsely with a fork. Make sure you leave a few chunks in there for texture.
Fry the onions in the remaining oil till golden brown. Add the vinegar and maple syrup and let the mixture cook on medium flame till the liquid has all been soaked. Increase the heat slightly and let the onions caramelize. Be patient, this will take at least 20-22 minutes from start to end. Once done, add to the prepared squash mixture while still hot. Keep some aside for garnishing.
Put it all together
Cut the baguette or bread into 1 inch pieces. Butter slightly and bake at 350 F for a few minutes till the bread is crisp. Remove from heat, put ½ teaspoon of fresh ricotta and top with the squash mixture. Garnish with some leftover onion jam, fresh coriander and crushed dried chickpeas- for a slight crunch!