Saturday, January 04, 2020

Vivian Howard: Bacon-Roasted Squash with Rosemary Honey

I found some honeynut squash at my local store, so of course I snapped it up, even though I had no idea what I was going to make with it.  Luckily I came across this recipe, which basically has everything good in the world involved.  The sweetness of the squash, along with the smoky bacon, and the sweet-sour rosemary honey makes a pretty perfect winter side dish.

Note: The original recipe used mixed root vegetables, such as turnips, beets, rutabagas, carrots, and celery root.  I think either way is delicious.

Bacon-Roasted Squash with Rosemary Honey
Adapted from Vivian Howard, Chef and the Farmer, Kinston, NC

For the rosemary honey:
½ cup honey
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 sprigs rosemary
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the roasted squash:
5 cups honeynut or butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1½ cups slab bacon, diced into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Make the rosemary honey: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the honey, vinegar, soy sauce, rosemary and red pepper flakes to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has slightly thickened and reduced to about ½ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before discarding the rosemary.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, toss together the squash, sugar, and oil, then season with salt and pepper. Spread the seasoned squash and bacon out onto a sheet tray in one layer.

Roast, turning the squash and bacon halfway through cooking, until the squash is caramelized and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Spoon the bacon and roasted squash onto a platter and drizzle them with the some of the rosemary honey. Reserve the leftover honey for another use.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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