Butternut Squash & Apples with Bacon & Crispy Sage

As you may know, I am a bit of a Martha Stewart addict.

So when the November issue of Martha Stewart Living came out and it contained this insanely simple and delicious recipe for roasted squash and apples with slab bacon, I had to make it right away.

Butternut Squash & Apples with Bacon & Crispy Sage

Only problem is, it called for delicata squashes and lady apples, neither of which I could find anywhere. So I consulted the internet to find the next closest apple. On the sweet vs tart continuum, also taking into account color, as well as baking and cooking requirements (some apples keep their shape when baked, and some break down too much), the honeycrisp fit the bill.

The original recipe also called for fresh thyme, which is fantastic with this dish. But I wanted something a little fancier for this Thanksgiving version. Sage, specifically the fried variety. Crispy, fragrant, and losing it’s strong medicine-like quality when cooked, it’s a great foil to the mass of slab bacon and the meaty, earthy goodness of this hearty side.

Butternut Squash & Apples with Bacon & Crispy Sage

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs butternut (or acorn) squash cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, peeled, seeds removed
  • 2 lbs honeycrisp apples, cored and quartered
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 oz slab bacon, cut into 1/2 chunks
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss squash, apples, extra-virgin olive oil, bacon, 1/2 tsp salt and a few good grinds of pepper together in a large bowl. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Roast 45 minutes until browned on the bottom. Flip apples and squash over and roast an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  5. Fry 6-8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, a few seconds. Transfer leaves to a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with coarse salt.
  6. Garnish squash and apples with fried sage and serve immediately
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living recipe

What’s your favorite variety of winter squash?