Wow your guests with this impressive side this Thanksgiving!
Have something a little jazzier than yams and mashed potatoes in mind for your Thanksgiving sides? The classics definitely have their place at the table, but if you would like to step up your game and impress some guests, Stuffed Delicata Squash has a great wow factor without monopolizing your prep time.
Delicata is technically a winter squash, but it belongs to the same family as summer squash, so the skin softens as you cook it and is edible. Butternut squash gets all of the buzz this time of year, but why not go for something less cumbersome with no peeling required?
This squash tastes like a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin, and even though you could easily take this dish to the sweet side, there are plenty of Thanksgiving desserts that have that department covered. The Delicata squash makes a nice base flavor for a myriad of toppings, and once you scrape out the seeds you have the perfect natural little bowl for filling.
Stuffed Delicata Squash
• 2 Delicata squashes
• 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) dry Harissa – or your favorite spice blend
• 1 small zucchini
• 6 strips of bacon
• 1 cup breadcrumbs
• 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
• Olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the outside of the squash until it’s squeaky clean, since you will be eating the skin.
2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds until the inside cavity is smooth.
3. Set the squash in a roasting pan, skin side down (a cookie sheet works too, but is messier when it cooks). Brush the insides and cut edges with a coat of olive oil.
4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Harissa across each individual squash half.
5. Chop the zucchini into thin coins and lay across the center of each squash. Sprinkle with a little breadcrumbs.
6. Chop the bacon and cover the zucchini, approximately 1 1/2 strips per squash half.
7. Cover the bacon with the rest of the breadcrumb mixture.
8. Cover the pan with foil, sealing the edges. This will help it cook faster. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
9. Uncover the pan and roast for another 20 minutes. Test with a fork. If the fork goes all the way to the skin easily, the squash is done. If there is a little resistance, cook for few more minutes and test again. Tip: If your squash has thin walls, check them a few minutes earlier.
10. Voilà – time to eat. Cut the stuffed squash into slices and serve hot.
This recipe is super versatile. Some of my favorite fillings are caramelized onions with
soyrizo and sunflower seeds, sausage and breadcrumbs, and the combo we used here; zucchini, bacon, and cheesy breadcrumbs. (Veg on veg, why not? Get crazy.)
Readers – Are you a squash lover too? What squash dishes will you be serving this Thanksgiving?