36slicesFrench baguettesliced on the bias 1/2-inch thick
¼cupCALIFORNIA GARLIC OLIVE OILfor drizzling on crostini
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the Squash and Assembly
2 1/2-pound to 3-poundpiecesbutternut or other yellow-fleshed squashpeeled, seeded and cut into1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
¼cupBLOOD ORANGE OLIVE OIL
½teaspoondried chile flakesmore to taste
Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh) cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.
Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator 2 days.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onions a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well softened and darkening, at least 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and syrup, stir and reduce until syrupy and broken down, again at least 15 minutes or so; the mixture should be jammy. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.
Drizzle each side of the baguette slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden, 7 to 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 450. Combine the squash, olive oil, chile flakes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a bowl and toss well. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook, stirring every few minutes, until tender and slightly colored, about 15 minutes or a little longer. Remove from the oven.
Combine squash and onion jam in a bowl and smash with a fork until combined. Taste for seasoning.
Spread ricotta cheese on crostini, then top with the squash-onion mixture. Sprinkle with coarse salt and garnish with mint.