Last year, I hosted my first Thanksgiving at our house. It was a blast. My grandparents were in England, and my parents stayed in Omaha. So it was a young crowd. My two sisters and their husbands, my nephew, and my mother-in-law, who still acts like a 20 year old (in a good way). There was much drinking and merriment involved. By the time the meal was over and the dishes were cleaned, I was passed out on the couch. This is probably what I looked like-
I believe everyone else continued into the night around a bonfire.
Of course, the merriment was fun, duh! But what really made it memorable for me was cooking with my foodie family. Together, we raised the bar for Thanksgiving meals. And although I have a fondness for the traditional Thanksgiving feast, we did a little twist on tradition. There wasn’t a green bean casserole in sight. Don’t even ask about sweet potato casserole- she wasn’t invited.
This recipe is one of those twists, and it was one of the most popular dishes of the day. Not only is this insanely delicious, it’s perty to look at. The delicata squash look like flowers on your plate. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to the sweet potato casserole, look no further. Bonus: it’s a make ahead too. Directions follow at the end of the recipe.
If you haven’t eaten delicata squash before, it’s dreamy. You don’t have to peel it (bonus for us lazy peeps) because the skin is yummy. It has such a gentle, delicate flavor, and I think it’s just about the perfect fall veggie.
Roasted Delicata Squash and Apples
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
- 2 delicata squashes, around 1 1/2 pounds
- 10 baby apples
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 6 oz. pancetta, diced (can also use bacon if you prefer)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh thyme or rosemary
- Slice the delicata squash, crosswise, into 1/2 inch wide circles. Remove the seeds using a sharp paring knife.
- Slice each apple in half, removing the core with a melon baller. (If you can’t find little baby apples, just use larger, but quarter them instead. And you’ll probably only need 6-7 apples in that case.)
- Put the squash, apples, pancetta, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes.
- Turn the squash and apples. Bake for another 15 minutes.
To make this dish one-day ahead, follow directions 1-3. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next day, once the turkey is done and is resting, pop the baking sheet back in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.