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Appetizers

Labneh with Tomatoes & Delicata Squash

Herby labneh topped with spices, Sunset® MiMi® Gourmet tomatoes and delicata squash makes for the perfect fresh appetizer for the holidays.

With holiday entertaining in full swing, I think it’s fun to switch things up with a fresh and flavorful dip like this festive, herby labneh. Labneh is a very thick, creamy Middle Eastern style yogurt cheese, typically complemented with zaatar spice. In this labneh recipe I used greek yogurt to achieve the texture 

This simple labenh is easy to whip up in less than five minutes and makes for a beautiful and delicious addition to your table. Sometimes when we’re making a leisurely meal it’s nice to have an appetizer that we can snack on while we cook and this labneh is great in that case as well because it’s so easy to make!

Ingredients You’ll Need for this Labneh Recipe:

  • Sunset® MiMi® Gourmet Tomatoes
  • Labneh or plain 4% greek yogurt 
  • Tahini 
  • Fresh Garlic 
  • Zaatar
  • Sumac
  • Cumin 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Pita bread for dipping 
easy labneh made with greek yogurt and fresh spices

Sunset® MiMi® Gourmet Tomatoes 

This little tomato is seriously gourmet. With seeds sourced exclusively from the south of France, this unique snacking tomato is the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, which makes it seriously hard to resist. Just the right amount of crunch and not too juicy, you’ll love how they taste! 

MiMi Gourmet tomatoes really complement the tangy and herby flavor of the yogurt dip and really tie everything together perfectly when it comes to flavor. 

I always have a container of Sunset® tomatoes for adding to salads, pasta, dips, or just snacking on with hummus. I love how flavorful they are and that all of Sunset’s products are Non-GMO Project Verified. This means they are developed the old-fashioned way, through natural plant breeding without any additives. Don’t miss my other recipes made with Sunset® produce linked below.

Sunset MiMi Gourmet Tomatoes

herby-labneh-with-tomatoes-and-delicata-squash

Labneh with Tomatoes & Delicata Squash

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Herby labneh topped with spices, Sunset® MiMi® Gourmet tomatoes and delicata squash makes for the perfect fresh appetizer for the holidays.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 delicata squash washed and sliced with the seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Sunset® MiMi® Gourmet Tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup plain 4% greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 1 ½ tsp zaatar
  • ½ tsp. sumac
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • pita for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F. Toss sliced delicata squash with avocado oil and salt. Place on a baking sheet so that all of the pieces are flat and bake for 20 minutes. 
  • While the delicata squash roasts, prepare the labneh. In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, garlic, tahini, zaatar, sumac, cumin and salt.
  • Spread the mixture on a plate or bowl. Top with roasted delicata squash, and MiMi tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle extra zaatar and fresh parsley on top. 
  • Use warm pita for dipping and enjoy! 

More Recipes with Sunset Produce You’re Sure to Love

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fall labneh
Easy Meals

Fall Farro Salad with Delicata Squash

Delicious and beautiful fall farro salad with delicata squash, arugula, apple, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and feta makes for a hearty and healthy grain bowl that highlights the best of autumn produce. Mustard vinaigrette dresses each bite and complements this farro salad that makes for the perfect side dish or lunch during the week.

farro grain bowl with arugula, delicata squash, apple, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and feta

It’s no secret I have a passion for fall flavors — they’re just the best and this fall farro salad is an ode to everything I love that’s in season right now! Pomegranates, delicata squash, apples, oh my!

Beautiful to look at and even more delicious to eat, this grain salad makes for a great holiday side dish or an easy, make-ahead lunch for this time of year.

Delicata Squash

Delicata squash is a yellow tube-like squash that typically has dark green stripes running down the sides. In years past it was harder to find, but this year I’m seeing a ton of it at the grocery store constantly throughout the fall season which I’m so happy about because I think it’s one of the best squashes of them all.

To me, delicata squash is the champagne of squashes. It’s easy to cut, you can eat the skin (so make sure you wash it) and the seeds, and it has a super good mild squash flavor that complements many other flavors including the ones found in this farro salad. Plus, the shape is so fun.

All squashes, including pumpkin are a great source of vitamin C and A, potassium and fiber.

How to Cut a Delicata Squash

Start by washing the squash. Place it on a cutting board that will not move around on your counter and cut both of the end off. Then, cut the squash width wise down the middle so that you have two identical pieces. Next, cut one of the pieces lengthwise down the center so that you have two halves.

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy insides (save the seeds if you plan on roasting). Place the squash flesh side down on your cutting board and proceed to cut into half moon pieces as pictured in this salad.

Another way I like to use delicata squash is in this recipe for parmesan crusted delicata squash rings. It’s easy to make in an air fryer too!

Ingredients for Fall Farro Salad with Delicata Squash

for the farro salad:

  • farro
  • vegetable broth
  • arugulaNo arugula? Feel free to swap it for any salad green you do have on hand. Massaged kale would also be great in this farro bowl!
  • delicata squash — If you don’t have or can’t find delicata squash,
  • appleI used honeycrisp apples in this salad.
  • pomegranate seeds pomegranate seeds (also called arils) are a great source of vitamin C and many different antioxidants. They’re beautiful to sprinkle on lots of different things this time of year when they’re in season.
  • walnuts Not a fan of walnuts? Substitute pecans or almonds! Nuts are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats that our bodies need.
  • fetaI love crumbled feta on this salad but goat cheese would also go really well with all the flavors.

for the dressing:

  • dijon mustard
  • white wine vinegar
  • shallot
  • salt
  • pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil

equipment / utensils

delicious fall farro salad with arugula, apples, delicata squash, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and feta cheese

delicious fall farro salad with arugula, apples, delicata squash, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and feta cheese

Fall Farro Salad with Delicata Squash

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Bursting with fall flavor, you'll love this farro bowl recipe that's beautiful and delicious. Balanced with sweet and savory flavors and a crunch in every bite!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 3 -4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • Farro salad:
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup farro
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 delicata squash sliced with the seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 apple thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • mustard vinaigrette:
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper1 cup extra-virgin olive oil more to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F. 
  • In a small saucepan combine the vegetable broth, farro and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low with the lid on for approximately 30 minutes until tender. Remove from heat, drain any excess liquid and let cool.
  • While the farro is cooking, wash and slice the delicata squash. Toss with avocado oil and salt and place on a baking sheet so that all of the squash pieces are flat. Bake for 20 minutes. 
  • Start by adding the arugula to a large serving bowl, top with farro, squash, apple slices, pomegranate seeds, feta, and lastly walnuts.
  • Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a medium bowl and whisk together until combined. 
  • Pour over the salad and enjoy! 

Notes

This salad is best enjoyed fresh, however, if you want to prep it ahead of time I recommend keeping all of the ingredients separate until you're ready to eat it. 
Keyword fall farro salad; farro salad; delicata squash salad

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best healthy farro salad with delicata squash
Appetizers

Smoked Salmon Crostini with Delicata Squash Butter

Celebrate the season with an easy smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter appetizer. It’s a unique, and delicious party appetizer that incorporates seasonal delicata squash and nutrient-rich smoked salmon.

This post was sponsored by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership but as always, all opinions are my own and I’m grateful for your support!

‘Tis the season for holiday get togethers, festive foods, sparkly drinks, and time with friends and family. Food is my love language so whether I’m invited to a party or hosting, I like to get creative in the kitchen and incorporate elements of the season into a dish for the party. I realize that this time of year we are strapped for time, and making something from scratch might not be feasible, which is where this appetizer for smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter comes in. It’s a creative take on a traditional crostini, a good portion size for a party, and aside from the roasting of the delicata squash, takes only minutes to assemble.

 

smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter

The sweetness of the pomegranate seeds complements the savory, saltiness of the capers and smoked salmon and adds a pop of color to each crostini. And can we just talk about this smoked salmon for a second?! I will eat salmon in any way shape or form, and smoked happens to be one of my favorite ways to enjoy it (especially on top of avocado toast!). If you didn’t know, October was National Seafood Month and I had fun with this recipe of for pumpkin spinach risotto and seared scallops–be sure to check out that post for more information on what to look for when purchasing seafood, sustainability and much more! Since taking the pledge to eat seafood at least two times a week, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different ways to eat fish and challenged myself to eat fish I never have before.

smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter

I like this easy recipe for smoked salmon crostini’s with delicata squash butter so much too because it has that fall element of squash and pumpkin seeds that you know I love! If you’ve never experimented with delicata squash, I highly recommend you try roasting it this season because it just may become your favorite type of squash like it did for me. Like any yellow-orange vegetable it’s high in vitamin A, C and fiber.  Read more about the produce that’s in season and why it’s so good for you in this nutrition guide for seasonal produce.

smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter

Another thing to note about holiday party appetizers is that they are all not created equal! I’m not saying you have to avoid all the appetizers, but it is a moment to be mindful at the party because there will likely be other food, desserts, and drinks that can add up quickly. You can feel good serving something like these smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter appetizers because you’re getting a good mix of protein and healthy fat from the salmon and unique vitamins and minerals from the delicata squash, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter

smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter

Smoked Salmon Crostini with Delicata Squash Butter

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Start any holiday get together in a healthy way with these smoked salmon crostini's with delicata squash butter! Get the best of both worlds with the taste of sweet and salty and reap the benefits of salmon in an easy to make appetizer!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 18 crostini appetizers

Ingredients
  

  • 1 delicata squash washed, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and seeded
  • 1 French baguette
  • 6 oz. smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the delicata squash butter:

  • Pre-heat oven to 415 degrees F.
  • Toss delicata squash with 2 tbsp olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Roast for approximately 17 minutes.
  • Let cool for a few minutes and add delicata squash and garlic to a food processor. Pulse and add in remaining olive oil.
  • Mixture should be smooth and combined.

To assemble the crostini:

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degree F.
  • Cut the bread into pieces about 2 inches thick and place on a baking sheet to warm in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove and spoon about 1 tbsp. of squash butter on top.
  • Add small pieces of salmon on top of each, then sprinkle pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and capers spontaneously across the top of each.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

* I left the skin on the delicata squash which made it come out a little grainy. I didn't mind this texture, but remove if you want butter to be completely smooth.

XOXO 

MAGGIE

 

smoked salmon crostini with delicata squash butter