Sometimes I feel so bad about all the eating I’ve done in a given weekend that I force myself to watch badder than bad tv at the gym.  As punishment.

Yesterday it was The Real World.

You probably can’t imagine how it could have been that bad.  But I have two words for you.  Biscoff spread.  ‘Nuff said.


I’m pretty sure I haven’t watched this show since the season with the gay guy and the jock-from-the-south-homophobic guy and the super-virginal-goody-two-shoes girl and the token alcoholic/drug addict/person-with-anger-management-issues.

I had pictures of Justin Timberlake plastered all over my wall and was having deep and serious conversations with my bff until all hours of every night about why exactly Joey and Pacey were meant to be together.  And I thought I was so cool for watching a show that came on at 10pm every Tuesday night.

10pm was like midnight back then.

It was totally the cool kids thing to do.


It was exactly as awful I refused to realize it was when I was 13.

I solemnly swear that I will eat better next week so that I can deserve to watch Real Housewives and Most Eligible Dallas.

I also solemnly swear to never buy Biscoff spread again unless it has a purpose.  At least…a purpose that isn’t for me to go at it with a spoon until there is not a single tablespoon left in the entire jar.  I strongly advise for you to do the same.


So let’s kick off this week with some good healthy eats, shall we?  I made this bruschetta for a carb loading potluck I hosted on Friday and let’s just say that it was the sleeper hit of the party.

Making it was a spur-of-the-moment decision on my part (as in, I decided to make it five minutes after I was already supposed to have left to go to the grocery store) but given how much everyone absolutely adored it…I’m so happy I did.

Fall Bruschetta
Makes at LEAST 32 crostini, adapted from The Parsley Thief


  • 4 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 1 granny smith apple, finely diced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (plus more to taste)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 baguette
  • ricotta cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.  In a mixing bowl, toss the butternut squash, eggplant, and apple with 1 tbsp of olive oil and the paprika.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread the mixture out on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking, until the squash is just tender.
  2. In the meantime, quarter and slice the onion.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet.  Add the onions, balsamic vinegar, and honey.  Cook until onions are softened and all of the liquid is absorbed.  Set aside.
  3. When butternut squash mix is done, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the onions.  Add more balsamic to taste and check for seasoning.  To assemble, slice the baguette into thin slices and spread a little bit of ricotta cheese over the top of it.  Spoon some of the bruschetta on top of that.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

I am submitting this to Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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98 Responses to Fall Bruschetta

  1. Butternut squash and ricotta on bread? Love it!! Yeah, I think I’ll wait to find that biscoff spread… I don’t think any good can come of my having a jar.

  2. Lora says:

    A perfect Fall bruschetta. Go on and watch Housewives now…

  3. What a creative dish! Love this. You can never go wrong with butternut squash.

  4. That Girl says:

    I just started watching this season today, but only because it’s in our backyard so we knew when they were filming it.

  5. Danielle says:

    eggplant, squash and ricotta – this sounds great! Did you check out my bookmarks this weekend your muffins were on there.

  6. Allison says:

    Oh my gosh, can you please STOP posting such amazing recipes? Really, I cannot keep up! I have a list 10 recipes deep of things I need to try!

    JK, don’t stop! These look ridiculously delicious. I cannot wait to try. Thank you!

  7. That spread sounds delicious, something similar was attempted for a Dutch cookie but I haven’t seen it yet. By finishing it you are showing your respect to the jar, just like Russians don’t like to leave unfinished bottles of vodka.

  8. Dawn says:

    I like the mixture of the eggplant and apple along with smoky paprika. How unexpected!

  9. brocstar says:

    I wonder if you could sub tofu for ricotta in this recipe? I like to do that in lasagna as I don’t really like that type of cheese. Bruschetta is wonderful, though.

  10. sally says:

    Mmm…Biscoff spread sounds pretty irresistible. I’m not sure if I should run out and get some or try to avoid it all together.

  11. Amy says:

    The Real World is still on TV? Really? I’m so out of touch. I’ve noticed that I eat so well on the days I workout, but if I take a day off I tend to throw it all out the friggin’ window with chocolate (and now pre-Halloween candy.) I could use me some of that bruschetta…AND the plate it’s on. I love the plate!

  12. polwig says:

    I haven’t watched the Real Word since Puck was in Seattle, I think that was season II or III max. I didn’t know it was on tv still is it re runs 🙂 LOL Bruschetta looks very yummy.

  13. Candace says:

    I didn’t listen to my better judgment when I saw all of the Nutella posts; now mine disappears quickly and easily with the swipe of a finger. I am hoping to continue passing by the Biscoff jars no matter what I see and hear. Your bruschetta is a must try though. The caramelized veggies and apple and honey and ricotta…oh my. Gotta make this soon!

  14. Kim says:

    You definitely have my attention at the mention of biscoff spread. Wow, I need to have some of that in my life!

    This is a fun take on bruschetta that looks incredible and perfect in every way.

  15. Ranjani says:

    This looks awesome and perfect for fall!

  16. OMG I totally know what you mean about Real World! I used to feel the same way. Ah, I miss those days when I felt cool for staying up till 11pm to watch that show. The good ol’ days. My nights are now filled with RH’s as well. Can’t get enough of these women, lol. Love the recipe. Looks delish!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Yum. Jen from Beantown Baker made something very similar for Megan’s birthday party last month, but she used goat cheese. Ricotta sounds delightful

  18. bellini says:

    Looking at the recipe I have everything I need except the bread, which for some reason I don’t have around the house!!Could it be because I have no control whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Allison says:

    Can you watch some badder then bad tv for me? I should be doing a few extra miles for the bad weekend I just had. I actually think I hit the sugar wall which I was not sure was possible. This looks delicious and just the right way to get back on track.

  20. I never heard of Biscoff spread, thanks for the link. But that bruschetta is a nice way to get back to healthy. What do you watch when you eat healthy? LOL!

  21. Kelly says:

    What a smart idea this fall bruschetta – love the apple with the squash and all the smoky, fall seasonings… Biscoff spread? is that like Nutella?

  22. Pam says:

    This looks good, even with the inclusion of eggplant.

  23. I had never thought about using eggplants in a bruschetta, how brilliant!

    Camila Faria

  24. Kristin says:

    Hey Joanne, do you want to come out to CA and be my roommate? I would die in heaven if my husband ever cooked things like that. The only things that he makes are burgers and the yearly birthday cake for me. I could boot him out and you can come in and work your food magic. :o)
    Holy Cannoli Recipes

  25. Watching trashy TV makes me want to only eat Doritos and pork rinds, so I’m glad it’s a penance for you and not an encouragement to eat worse. This fall bruschetta looks so good, though, that I think you deserve to watch some quality programming for a whole week.

  26. kankana says:

    Bruschetta is one of my absolute fav snck or side bite and this topping sounds just so perfect!

  27. Pam says:

    The last time I saw a snippet of the Real World (a show I used to think was so cool back in the late 80’s & 90’s), was horrible, trashy, and terrible. I realized I was really OLD.

    I am not too old for this tasty bruschetta – yum!

  28. Oh girl, this is right up my alley. 🙂 I’ve been on a vegetarian food kick lately. I still eat meat but I’m going wild with my veggies and loving it. 🙂 Can’t wait to get to my own kitchen in Australia – NEXT WEEK!!! – so I can really get down to business. 🙂

  29. Mary says:

    This looks fantastic, Joanne! Wow, I never would have thought to top a bruschetta this way, but it sounds delicious.

  30. Julie says:

    Looks majorly awesome! Makes me wish I had some butternuts!

  31. Juliana says:

    Wow Joanne, these look fabulous, butternut squash and apples…totally Fall!
    Hope you have a great week ahead 🙂

  32. Erica says:

    Wonderful meatless appetizer!It looks and sounds delicious.

  33. Claudie says:

    Great idea to make this fall bruschetta! What seems to be the “winter” officially hit San Fran today, so I think I need exactly this to boost my mood a bit 🙂
    Btw: this weekend I found a good excuse to make a tarte tatin — believe me, once I start eating it, you won’t be the only one punishing yourself with bad tv shows 🙂

  34. Shannon says:

    oh my, this sounds awesome. unfortunately the first butternut i got from my csa wasn’t quite right… underripe or something? tasteless. hopefully the next batch will be awesome!

  35. I can’t WAIT until my next book club meeting to bring these lovelies. They will be devoured and I will be the queen of bookclub. Thanks! 🙂 Real World? Really? You were bad.

  36. Tasha says:

    I want to come to a carb loading potluck of yours. I’m sure your carb loading was running related, and not just for the sake of eating carbs, but still, with bruschetta like this, I’ll take up running!

  37. A carb loading potluck sounds absolutely fantastic. Also fantastic? Ricotta cheese on this fall bruschetta. Great idea!

  38. Your posts are not only filled with delish recipes such as this super-creative bruschetta (mmmm!), but always so entertaining! I needed the chuckles today!

  39. marla says:

    Such a genius bruschetta. So fun to use the fall ingredients. Love the sweet apple with the savory ingredients. Btw: featuring your pumpkin crust pizza today on FFC 🙂 xxoo

  40. La Liz says:

    This is my favorite bruschetta ever, and I haven’t even tasted it yet. I can’t wait to serve this! Thanks…..

  41. tigerfish says:

    Will absolutely fall for this bruschetta, why not? ;p …I just bought more than a dozen of apples over the weekend! This is a good way to use them.

  42. Looks wonderful, Joanne! Bring on the butternut!

  43. that. looks. delicious.

    and pacey + andy forever!


    xo Alison

  44. OohLookBel says:

    Fabulous colours and flavours. No wonder these bruschetta were a hit.

  45. Shannon says:

    What a great appetizer idea! I never think of making bruschetta and you know we share a love for all things winter squash. I think the eggplant is an excellent addition too! GET IN ME.

  46. *hanging head in shame* I really use to like the Real World. LOL well past Dawsons Creek phase. Like up until a couple of years ago 🙁 Not sure its even on here anymore?

  47. Claudia says:

    That bruschetta would be dinner for me, with just a salad and a glass of white wine alongside. Great combination of flavors there.

  48. Kalyn says:

    I never have and never will buy Biscoff spread so I guess I am safe from the bad TV! Your bruschetta looks fantastic though. That I would eat!

  49. Astra Libris says:

    I’m SO excited about your weeks of Winter Squash!!! 🙂 This bruschetta is gorgeous gorgeous… LOVE the eggplant, apple, and squash combo! So creative and so perfect!!

  50. FramedCooks says:

    Okay, you’ve inspired me to start rolling out the butternut for fall. Buuternut bruschetta…GENIUS!! 🙂

  51. betty says:

    hahaha evrybody has those days! but the clue is to indulge once in a while, you’ll get back on track the next day 😉 and the bruschetta looks absolutely good!

  52. oh wow. this looks delicate yet hearty. So beautiful and autumnal!

  53. Reeni says:

    I would do the same with that irresistible spread! And with these bruschetta! So unique and delicious – I’d like to toss the topping with pasta.

  54. SnoWhite says:

    Brilliant, Joanne! This looks like a perfect fall appetizer. Love the use of eggplant, butternut squash and apple together.

  55. kellypea says:

    I LOVE your strategy, but I’d have to get myself to the gym first. Or on my Wii step that my old, fat cat has decided is her throne. Um, will you throw tomatoes at me if I say I’ve never heard of Biscoff? Really. In fact, I only just recently bought my first jar of Nutella (I’ve never tasted it, either.) But! I love all the deliciously gorgeous ingredients you have int his. YUM! Thank goodness for real food.

  56. Chris says:

    I just googled Biscoff spread to figure out what it is.

    I remember when the very first Real World came on and reality TV was born. The placenta has been kinda gross in the years following (ha ha)

  57. There should be a bruschetta for all seasons, I say! You are the perfect gal to come up with all four!


  58. Megan says:

    One of my friends just made something very similar for my surprise party. It was so good! Love how this incorporates the flavors of fall.

  59. Tessa says:

    I swear I can almost smell these looking at your photos. Yum!

  60. Veronica says:

    Well, at least you did something to counteract the biscoff spread. I’m sitting on my butt after eating a QT container of blueberry donut holes and missing the nightly dog walk…because I was busy making a cake…and licking plenty of the batter. Priorities. 😉 I love the sound of this bruschetta and am thinking I should bring it to Thanksgiving dinner! We always have appetizers for people to munch while we’re waiting on dinner. Perfect!

  61. if i was at a dinner party where you were cooking, i’m pretty sure i’d never leave the table. and everyone would be all “who invited the greedy girl?” for realz.

  62. This bruschetta looks gorgeous, but it’s all spring fare for me right now – yay!!
    Sue xo

  63. Foodycat says:

    I don’t even know what biscoff spread is. But this bruschetta looks amazing!

  64. A healthy bruschetta, wow! That sounds great!

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  65. Sanjeeta kk says:

    How easy and scrumptious the Bruschetta look! Oh..and healthy too. Wonderful as always, Joanne..wish I stayed near you to gorge upon all your lovely creations 🙂

  66. Barbara says:

    Oh yum! That looks like lunch to me. Love your fall bruschetta Joanne.
    I’ve heard of Biscoff but never have had it. NYC gets everything first!

  67. Perfect appetizer! Or lunch. It looks and sounds awesome!

  68. Julie says:

    What a fun fall appetizer! I posted your Caramelized onion, sweet potato soup today. WE so loved it. Thanks for a great recipe.

  69. Johanna GGG says:

    bruschetta is something I can be bothered making until I see your ingredients and then I think yes I must try that one

  70. Love all the ingredients on the bruschetta…squash and eggplants…yumm! Sometimes the simplest dishes turned out to be the most popular! 🙂

  71. brandi says:

    i love this idea. definitely need to try it while i have some figs – yum!

  72. Apples and smoked paprika, I’ll have try that flavor combo out!

  73. Christina says:

    I love this topping for bruschetta! Nice way to use eggplant, and the addition of apple is a great idea.

  74. Wow, this is really original. I’ve never seen bruschetta in these flavours before. Brilliant!

  75. Katelyn says:

    It’s scary how often we’re on the same eating wavelength. This week I’ve pretty much been living on crostini with cheese and tomato jam. But this bruschetta looks awesome.

    Also, I feel it is my duty to tell you about this combo as I am a Biscoff spread fanatic: crepes with Biscoff spread and little slivers of banana with a little maple syrup over the top. It is fall-out-of-your-chair delicious and my number one guilty eating pleasure.

  76. girlichef says:

    Mmm…fall on a slice of bread? I’m in! Looks awesome. And now I’m off to click on Biscoff Spread (so I don’t feel like an ignoramus any longer…)

  77. Nicole, RD says:

    You couldn’t find a more appropriate appetizer or small bite for fall…yum! The ricotta and balsamic…mmmm!!

  78. Laura Jeanne says:

    Joanne, this looks excellent and all too perfect for fall. Might have to throw this together for my future sister in laws pre-rehearsal dinner!!!
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño

  79. Jeanette says:

    What an interesting combination of fruits and veggies for this fall bruschetta – love it!

  80. I am beginning to think that Biscoff Spread is the new “must-have” item–I have been seeing/hearing about it a lot lately. 😉 These look like little bites of fall. Yum!

  81. This recipe is making me drool here, looking good!

  82. Loving these fall flsvors, yummy

  83. i am going to totally try this out! will be such a nice change from the usual tomato-basil topping.

  84. ahhh, looks so delicious! nothing can go wrong with roasted aubergine!

  85. Cara says:

    I love that you don’t think twice about pairing eggplant with apples and squash. Neither would I 🙂

  86. Catherine says:

    These look delicious Joanne. Simply delicious! blessings, Catherine ox

  87. grace says:

    i was pulling for dawson, merely because i wanted pacey for myself. if nothing else, he could do SO much better than whiny ol’ joey. 🙂

  88. Kerstin says:

    These look perfect for a party! And yes, that biscoff spread is just amazing… and dangerous!

  89. Natalie says:

    1. i just bought biscoff. i smell trouble, or at least a complete loss of self control!

    2. ryan requested we have squash at least once a week for the next several months…this is going on my list!

  90. Eliana says:

    Again – you’re the culinary genius. I would have never thought of making a bruschetta like this but it totally works, and works really really well. Rock on sista!

  91. mercurycode says:

    I made these today and I totally would and will call these addictive! Thanks for posting!

    (+ greetings from gourmet-germany!)

  92. Sara says:

    Yum, this looks really lovely! What a great appetizer. 🙂

  93. Oh wow its like you made this just for me!! I loooove fall inspired food. Can’t wait to try this out. 🙂

  94. Hannah says:

    OMG, this looks fantastic! I’ve been searching for good fall recipies for a party and this is perfect! Can’t wait to check out more of what you share.

  95. […] Fall Bruschetta  by Joanne Eats Well With Others  […]

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