For food blogger (and cookbook author!) Claire Thomas, there are few things better than standing in front of an impressive spread with the knowledge that it didn’t take a lot of time, assembly, or stress. The founder of The Kitchy Kitchen has found a simple concept that is the perfect addition to any holiday party – especially the impending New Year’s Eve gatherings that we’ll all enjoy next week! Five ingredients, five different apps. (Yes, it really is that easy!) She used five basic ingredients that you can switch out easily: a roasted vegetable, toasted nut, cured meat, soft cheese, and a leafy green. Mix in your favorites for a customizable, inexhaustible supply of party snacks.

BASE:
Crostini

TOPPINGS:
Roasted butternut squash
Toasted walnuts
Prosciutto
Ricotta
Arugula

PANTRY ITEMS:
Olive oil
Garlic
Salt
Pepper
Chili Flake
Honey
Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar

FOR THE CROSTINI (BASE):
1 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick slices
Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Lay the baguette slices across a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with a little salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH (INGREDIENT):
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
EVOO
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 425F.

Coat the butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20 to 30 minutes, until tender and golden brown. To get it extra crispy I like to broil them for a minute at the end.

1. SMASHED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH CHILI, PROSCIUTTO AND ARUGULA
INGREDIENTS (for 24):
1 pound roasted butternut squash
Chili flake, to taste
EVOO
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 large handful arugula
24 slices prosciutto

DIRECTIONS:
In a bowl, combine the roasted butternut squash, a big pinch of chili flake, a few tablespoons of olive oil, and if needed, salt and pepper. With the back of a fork, smash the butternut squash roughly. Don’t overdo it though, it should still have some structure. 

Lay a few pieces of arugula on each crostini, then spoon on some of the smashed butternut squash. Top with prosciutto and garnish with olive oil.
2. ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUREE WITH RICOTTA, AND HONEY WITH WALNUTS
INGREDIENTS (for 24):
1 pound roasted butternut squash
1 pint ricotta
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 cup toasted walnut halves
Honey for garnish
DIRECTIONS:
In a food processor, puree the roasted butternut squash and ricotta, seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon on top of each crostini. Garnish with a few pieces of walnuts and a drizzle of honey.
3. RICOTTA WALNUT PESTO WITH PROSCIUTTO AND ARUGULA OIL
INGREDIENTS (for 24):
1 pint ricotta
1 cup toasted walnut halves
2 garlic cloves
24 slices prosciutto
EVOO
Kosher salt and ground pepper
FOR THE ARUGULA OIL:
5 ounces arugula
EVOO
Kosher salt and ground pepper
DIRECTIONS:
In a food processor, puree the walnuts, ricotta, and garlic together, drizzling in a little olive oil at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon on top of each crostini. Top with a slice of prosciutto.
To make the arugula oil, combine the arugula with about 3/4 cup olive oil in a blender or food processor. Add a pinch of salt. Blend until very very fine, and strain. Drizzle the arugula oil over the crostini.4. ARUGULA BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD CROSTINI
INGREDIENTS:
1 pound roasted butternut squash
1 ounce (a large handful) arugula
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
EVOO
Balsamic or red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:
In a bowl, combine the roasted butternut squash, arugula, walnuts, a few tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of vinegar, and if needed, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands or a spoon.
Spoon some of the salad onto the crostini. Top with a touch of balsamic.

5. RICOTTA CROSTINI WITH HONEY AND BLACK PEPPER
INGREDIENTS:
1 pint ricotta
Honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
DIRECTIONS:
Spoon some of the ricotta onto the crostini. Top with a touch of honey and black pepper.