What’s better than roasted delicata squash? Roasted delicata squash with bacon!
This recipe takes what I did in Roasted Delicata Squash With Pecan and Thyme, and punches it up with blue cheese, bacon, and sage to make what I think is a pretty fabulous side dish.
Right now we are right in the middle of delicata squash season and I’m seeing them everywhere, including my local supermarket, something I didn’t see a few years ago. They now have a farmstand section in the store which highlights produce from various local farms. And this makes me happy! While I’m not likely to give up visiting the farm stands in the area, it is very nice to see area farms being featured and right there to buy for people who don’t go to the farm stands. I’m all for anything that makes it easier for people to support our local farmers.
Getting back to the recipe, this is another dish with bacon and so soon after I made the Blue Cheese and Bacon Wedge Salad, but this combo was too good to resist. Also, my husband tends to forget the ‘just a little bit’ part of my blog title and lobby for more bacon recipes. I indulged him here, but we’ve had a fair amount of bacon at this point with all the recipe testing, so it may be a little while before I make another bacon recipe. Especially as this dish not only has bacon but also uses the bacon fat to provide flavor.
Since the delicata squash is very rich with the bacon and the bacon fat mixed in with it, I knew I needed some other ingredients to cut through that richness and balance the dish. One I decided on early in developing this recipe is the blue cheese. Blue cheese is rich as well but it has a sharpness the dish needed. (And I love blue cheese if you couldn’t tell. 🙂 ) The next ingredient I decided on was the sage. Sage is wonderful with squashes and with pork and gives the dish a really nice earthy flavor.
Lastly, I knew I needed some vinegar but I didn’t want one that was too strong, so I went with a sherry vinegar. In the last few years, sherry vinegar has become one of my favorite vinegars for salads and other dishes where I want a mellow, acidic flavor. Unfortunately, all my local supermarkets stopped selling it a few months back! Very annoying. So, I got on Amazon and ordered some since I wasn’t going to live without it. I decided on Napoleon sherry vinegar and I’d definitely buy it again.
- 1 lb delicata squash, diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 slices thick cut bacon (4 slices if you want a lot of bacon)
- 1 oz blue cheese
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange the oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions so you can put two sheet pans in the oven.
- In medium bowl, toss the delicata squash with the olive oil. Spread the squash out on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, turning once at the 10 minute mark.
- Lay out the bacon on another sheet pan and put it in the oven after the delicata has been cooking for 5 minutes. If there is room on the delicata pan you can add the bacon to it, but you don't want to overcrowd the squash or it will steam rather than brown and caramelize.
- When you take out the squash, check the bacon. Add another minute if you need to. Once done, transfer the bacon to a towel-lined plate to cool a bit.
- To assemble the dish, put the squash into a medium serving bowl and toss it with 1 tbsp bacon fat and 2 tsp of sherry vinegar. Crumble the bacon and blue cheese over the squash and serve.
- You can make the squash and the bacon a few hours ahead. To warm it back up (and crisp the bacon), saute the squash and bacon over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the bacon fat and sherry vinegar to the pan and mix. Pour it all into the bowl and top with the blue cheese.