Featured Kitchen

Sweet and Savory Butternut Squash

Written by Sara Ross

With Thanksgiving in only two days, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I will be contributing to our family dinners this year as I’m sure a lot of you are too!  We will be getting together with my husband’s family on Thanksgiving and my mom’s family over the weekend.  It’s a busy time of the year with harvest wrapping up, our son’s first birthday and now the start of the holiday season, but it’s great to see all of our family and get to spend some time together.  We will actually be going to get our Christmas tree on Sunday with Kevin’s family!  I can’t believe it!

For our first Thanksgiving meal, I’m in charge of the vegetable dishes.  With two young kids, I usually get the “easier” things.  It was requested that I bring a green bean casserole and the family baked corn.  These are some of the traditional side dishes that we have every year and they are delicious!  I said I might bring a third vegetable and was thinking about switching it up a little bit and taking something completely different, like Sweet and Savory Butternut Squash!  

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever made a butternut squash, but I was very happy with how this recipe turned out!  It’s got the savoriness of the bacon, but then the sweetness of the syrup, brown sugar and pomegranates that compliment it well.  Pomegranates are one of my favorite fruits, but they are a pain to peel!  The other day it took me over 20 minutes to peel two of them, but it was definitely worth it!  I peel them over a bowl of water, that way when you drop the seeds into the water, the white membrane will float to the top if you missed a piece.  

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving and don’t get too stressed out over the next month!  Just remember what the season is really all about!

 
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Sweet and Savory Butternut Squash

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 butternut squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

4-5 strips of bacon

2 shallots, finely chopped

3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons real maple syrup

4 tablespoons bacon drippings, divided

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the butternut squash, slice in half and remove the seeds.  Cut into 3/4″ cubes.  Place in a large baggie.
  3. Drizzle in the olive oil, seal the baggie and mix the squash around so it’s evenly coated with olive oil.
  4. Place the squash in a single layer on a large metal baking pan.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  6. While the squash is baking, cut the bacon into pieces and fry until it’s just starting to crisp.  Remove from heat and drain the bacon, saving the bacon drippings.  
  7. Place two tablespoons of bacon drippings back into the same skillet and sauté the shallots until they become translucent, about 3-4 minutes over medium heat.
  8. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, two tablespoons of bacon drippings and the cider vinegar to the shallots.  Bring to a boil until slightly thickened.
  9. Remove the squash from the oven and stir it around.  Then drizzle the shallot mixture over the top and place back into the oven for another 20 minutes or until the squash has softened.
  10. Remove from the oven.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Stir in the bacon and pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Here’s More Thanksgiving Recipes to Enjoy!

About the author

Sara Ross

Sara grew up in south central Nebraska, in a little farming town called Elwood. Her family was in the insurance business, so between the two she’s been around agriculture her whole life. After high school, Sara went on to get her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and accepted a job with RCIS, the nation’s largest crop insurance company, as their trade show consultant. She traveled all over the country, but calls the Commodity Classic farm show “her favorite”, and it is no mystery as to why. She met her husband, Kevin, at that show in 2006.

Together, Kevin and Sara are the sixth generation to farm the land that they live on outside of Minden, IA where they raise 600 acres of corn, soybeans, hay, pasture ground and approximately 80 head of cattle.

In 2008 Sara went to work for her dad at their family insurance business, The Home Agency. She is currently their Marketing Manager. In 2010, she became involved with CommonGround which is a group of farm women who want to start conversations with their urban counterparts about what it’s like on a farm and how their food is grown and raised. She’s gotten to meet a lot of consumers through this grassroots program who are genuinely interested in learning about food and agriculture. This led to Sara starting her own blog, SarasHouseHD.com where she talks about family, food, and life on a farm.

Sara and Kevin had their first son in 2010 and their second son in 2012. They love growing up on a farm and would ride in the tractor with their dad 24/7 if we let them! In between being a farmwife, a mother, a marketing manager, a CommonGround volunteer and a blogger, Sara loves to talk about what it’s like on a farm and to share recipes with others. In her spare time, her hobbies are traveling, photography, snow skiing, crafts, hunting, and reading. You can follow her on Twitter (@sarashousehd), Facebook (Sara’s House HD) and Pinterest (pinterest.com/sarashouseh

2 Comments

  • Sara – does this keep for a couple days? I want to make and take, but it has to travel.

    Also – you say pomegranate is one of your favs. What other recipes do you have? I have recently gotten a BUNCH of them. Help!!

    • Jen-
      I’m not sure how well this would travel. I think it would definitely be better if eaten right away. The squash may get mushy if reheated and I wouldn’t heat the pomegranates I don’t think. A couple other side dish options can be found here: http://www.saras-house.com/2014/11/10-family-favorite-holiday-side-dishes/. I’d say a lot of those would travel well. Especially the Holiday Potato one that can be made ahead and refrigerated until you need to pop it in the oven!

      As for other pomegranate recipes, here is a salad that I like to make AND an easy way to peel them. It’s sooooo much faster than any other way that I’ve found: http://www.saras-house.com/2014/01/pomegranate-chicken-salad/. I really just like to eat them plain or mixed in a salad. You could also make that Brussels sprout recipe that’s in that link above and put poms in it instead of cranberries.

      Have a great Thanksgiving!