Recipe by Joshua McFadden, Ava Gene's, Portland

This can also be served as a vegetable salad; you can smear the yogurt on a platter like you would frost a cake and top with the roasted squash mixture.

Such a stunning dish, and with so little work. I look for a mix of squash that will have differently shaped slices so that you get different flavors. To save time, instead of draining your own yogurt, you can use store-bought labneh or Greek yogurt. This is also great served warm, a little planning ahead and you can do just that.


1½ cups plain whole or low-fat yogurt

1 small garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 2 pounds winter squash, one kind or a mix

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons slightly sweet white wine vinegar, such as Katz Sauvignon Blanc Vinegar

Mint, torn

Scallions, sliced

¼ cup lightly toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Butternut squash oil or pumpkinseed oil

Country bread, sliced into 1 inch slices

Whole garlic clove

Line a sieve with some cheesecloth and set over a bowl. (If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use paper coffee filters, but the draining time will be slightly longer). Put the yogurt in the cheesecloth and let it sit for at least an hour, so the whey drains out and the yogurt gets thick and creamy. You can set this up in the fridge and drain overnight, if you like. Use the whey in a smoothie or something, it’s nutritious!

Mix the drained yogurt with the garlic, lemon zest, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and set aside.

Heat the oven to 400F. Trim off the top and bottom of the squash, peel away the skin with a paring knife or sturdy vegetable peeler. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and fibers with a stiff spoon, and then cut the squash into ½-inch slices.

Toss the squash, either in a large bowl or directly on a rimmed baking sheet, with about 2 tablespoons of oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Spread out on one or two rimmed baking sheets, and roast in the hot oven until tender and nicely browned on the underside, 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the texture of the squash. Let the squash cool slightly right on the sheet pan.

Toast up some nice thick sliced country bread, and toast in a 350F oven until toasted. I like to flip them at about the 5-6 minute mark.  You do not want them to be like a cracker, think morning toast with a little more bite, but still some give. You could even use a toaster. Once toasted rub with garlic and a nice glug of extra-virgin olive oil.

If you can time this just right, while everything is still warm, spread the yogurt on the toast. In a large bowl, toss the roasted squash, toasted walnuts, torn mint, and sliced scallions. Then sprinkle with the vinegar, then spoon squash mixture on the toast and scatter more walnuts on the dish, finish with a few drops of the squash oil, or some extra-virgin olive oil.