Sarah’s Rap: I have discovered a heavenly pairing of two fall vegetables- kale and delicata squash, made even better by roasting with shallots until the squash and shallots are slightly caramelized and the kale is crispy, then finishing it off with a liberal sprinkling of bacon. This side-dish is gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo, but full of flavor and very versatile.
It will make an excellent accompaniment to any meat or fish entree, or can serve as an entree all on it’s own. For my own dinner last night, I had it with chicken sausage and asparagus. Fresh from the oven, the kale was crispy and made the dish really stand out. Today, I ate leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg – the kale had softened, which actually was a better compliment to the egg, and the bacon flavor permeated the squash more as they’d apparently gotten to know each other better overnight. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Feel free to mix up the seasonings to your taste.
A note about ingredients
A delicata squash, if you’ve never had one is a green-striped, oblong, yellow winter squash, pictured here. It can usually be found alongside the acorn and butternut squashes in the produce department. The nice thing about this type of squash is that the skin is so thin that it can be roasted and eaten along with the flesh, making it unnecessary to peel it. Just slice it in half, lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and slice cross-wise into 1/2″ slices.
Shallots, are similar to an onion in appearance, but are usually not perfectly round and taste more like the cross between an onion and garlic. I LOVE shallots and try to always have them on hand. If you do not have them or cannot find them, you can substitute with onion.
To make this dish truly Paleo, look for nitrate- and sugar-free bacon. I like the one pictured here by Pure Country as it is thick and salty. I prefer to cook my bacon in an oven – place on cookie sheet and place in a cold oven. Set temp to 400 degrees F and bake until done – 15-20 minutes. Drain grease into dish for cooking with and lay the bacon on paper towels. Once cooked, chop into small pieces and set aside.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Bacon and Crispy Kale
- 2 slices bacon, cooked, diced and set aside
- 1 medium delicata squash
- 1 Tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 2 large green kale leaves, stalk removed and cut into 1: pieces
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Pre-cook bacon, if not done already. Dice and set aside.
On a cutting board, trim the stem and end off the squash and discard. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy interior with a spoon and discard. Take the 2 squash halves and cut into 1/2″ slices across, making “C” shaped slices. Set aside and prep the shallot, kale and thyme, if not done already.
Grease a 1/4 sheet pan with 1 Tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil. Add squash slices, shallots, kale and thyme leaves to the tray. Toss the around to mix and spread evenly on the tray.
In as small bowl, combine sea salt and ground coriander. Using your fingers, pinch the seasoning and sprinkle across the squash on the tray, pinching up more and repeating until you’ve used 1/2 of the seasoning. Flip the squash slices and sprinkle seasoning on the other side.
Place tray in preheated oven and roast vegetables for 10 minutes. Flip vegetables with a spatula. Bake an additional 10 minutes, until squash and shallots are slightly browned. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with bacon pieces and serve warm.
Yields: 4 servings
Happy eating, everyone! I warn you, it is hard to stop munching on this!