Catching Up With Tom Colicchio

Roasted Butternut Squash with Mozzarella and Hazelnut Brown Butter

Loosely based on pumpkin ravioli, it is the sandwich equivalent of comfort food. Readers can make this elevated grilled cheese at home or enjoy it from October 31st through November 4th at one of Wichcraft's 9 locations in NYC. Visit for more!

Recipe credit: ’Wichcraft

Makes 4 sandwiches

1 pound butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 4 pieces

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

8 slices Pullman white bread

4 teaspoons hazelnut brown butter (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350

In a bowl toss the squash in 1 tablespoon of the oil and place on a sheet pan. Season the squash with salt and pepper and place in the oven. Roast for about 30 minutes until soft.

Preheat a sandwich press according to manufacturer’s specifications.

Remove squash from oven add to large bowl and mash with fork. Season with remaining tablespoon of salt and pepper to taste.

Place a thin layer of mozzarella on 4 slices of bread. Top with an even spread of hazelnut butter, followed by a layer of pumpkin. Cover with the 4 remaining bread slices, and place in the sandwich press (no need to butter the press or the bread). Close the lid and apply slight pressure. Cook without disturbing for about 4 minutes. Open the press and check for color and temperature: the cheese should be melted and the bread golden.

Chef tip: If the bread is sticking to the press, allow it to cook for a bit longer and it will unstick itself. If the press seems to generate more heat on the bottom, flip the sandwich halfway through to ensure even cooking (making sure the ridges in the bread line up). Once cooked, remove, cut into halves and serve.

Hazelnut Brown Butter

Makes about ½ cup

4 tablespoons shelled hazelnuts

½ teaspoon anise seeds

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 sage leaves

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet over medium-high heat, toast the hazelnuts until deep brown in color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet, finely chop and return to the skillet. Add the anise seeds and allow them to toast for a few seconds, constantly shaking the pan to avoid burning. Add the butter and sage, and stir constantly. Season with the salt and pepper and continue to stir until the butter has a nutty brown color. Transfer the butter to a container remove the sage leaves and refrigerate. Once the butter has cooled, stir again to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks.

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