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Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pastry Bites with Feta Cheese

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Everyone has their family staple Thanksgiving dishes, and I believe that Thanksgiving is the one time of year when test kitchen development is not welcomed. Stick to the classic mains; it is, after all, the most anticipated meal of the year.

However, showing up with an appetizer to Thanksgiving is not offensive. Butternut squash is in season now and is so incredibly creamy and slightly sweet. If you are a pastry aficionado, make your own crust. If not, frozen works just fine too! The flaky, buttery pastry is the perfect vehicle for the butternut squash, savory caramelized onion and tangy feta cheese. Drizzle with honey and fresh thyme—voila! A new Thanksgiving star is born.

As much as the day’s menu is written in stone, you can take some risks in the wine department. One of my favorite turkey wines is petit verdot, juicy, silky and full of blueberry currant. Jeremy Wine Co. is making a remarkable 2016 petit verdot right now that has all the potential to be your holiday staple red. Petit verdot extracts vibrant color with a punch of acidity, soft tannins and a luscious mouthfeel of medjool dates. Those slightly sweet, savory wine notes awaken my taste buds in anticipation for one thing—turkey, gravy and

1 medium squash
1 medium caramelized onion
2 garlic cloves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 ounces of sheep’s milk feta cheese
1 package frozen pastry cups, or your pastry or phyllo recipe baked in mini muffin tray
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Start by peeling the butternut squash, removing the seeds and dicing in small cubes. Season with salt, pepper and a coat of olive oil. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until soft. In the meantime, julienne the onion and sauté on low heat with olive oil and salt until brown. Stir in minced garlic and thyme and put aside. Once butternut squash is ready, fold into the onion-garlic mixture. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the pastry cups or muffins for 15 minutes at 350. If using store-bought cups, make sure to punch the center of the pastry down with the end of a wooden spoon after baking them before filling. Once the pastry is ready, fill each cup with butternut and caramelized onion mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese and a drizzle of honey and fresh thyme. Here’s my cheese pro tip! Try buying 100% sheep’s milk feta. It’s creamier and has much more flavor.

Written by: Lauren Rose,, @Laurenrosecooks
Paired with Jeremy Wine Company, 2016 Petit Verdot

Lauren Rose is obsessed with all things food and wine. As a part-time private chef and sommelier, full-time dinner party queen and Lodi native, she specializes in seasonal, Mediterranean fare with her own millennial twist.