Broomfield, Colo. — Even in the winter, you can still find fresh produce in Colorado. Greenhouses and high-tech storage facilities let us shop local even during the coldest months of the year. Gourds store especially well in the right conditions. Many of our Colorado Proud farmers provide winter squash, which you can find at local retailers or winter farmers markets

Squash are a versatile food which can be served savory or sweet and offer a variety of health benefits. Many winter squash are a good source of vitamin A, which helps protect eyes and skin. Not a fan of bananas? Enter the butternut squash, which contains potassium, an important mineral for keeping bones healthy (Produce Market Guide). 

‘Tis the season for checking in on our health goals, so why not branch out and squeeze some squash into your holiday menu? Chef Jason Morse shows us how to roast butternut squash in a side dish that will have your friends and family Colorado Proud of you.

Each month the Colorado Department of Agriculture features a different ag commodity to highlight the variety and quality of products grown and raised in the state. For December, Chef Jason Morse of 5280 Culinary brings us a cozy winter savory side dish. 

Chef Jason says, “For this recipe we start with some beautiful Colorado butternut squash and add bacon, red onions, and pecans.  Then it’s put into the oven for some roasting time to combine all these flavors into one amazing side dish.  Enjoy!”

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Roasted Colorado Butternut Squash

Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC and Ace Hardware Grill Expert

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes (time can vary) plus  5 minutes of rest time

Cook Temperature: 400˚ F  

Ingredients:

1-3 Colorado Butternut Squash, large, diced into cubes

¼ cup oil, canola or olive

8 slices of bacon, preferably applewood, thick cut, rough chopped

1 red onion, peeled and diced

To Taste

  •  Rub-A-Dub seasoning 
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Garnish 

  • fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 cup praline pecans, rough chopped

Preparation Directions:

  1. Wash all tools prior to use
  2. Clean and sanitize all cutting boards and prep surfaces prior to use
  3. Read all manufacturer’s instructions before using ovens, grills, or any cooking tools

Cooking Directions:

  1. Heat your oven to 400˚ F
  2. While oven is heating up, lightly spray a 10” cast iron skillet with cooking spray
  3. Peel and dice the butternut squash into 1” cubes and set aside
  4. Dice the bacon into 1” cubes and set aside
  5. Peel and dice the red onion into 1” cubes and set aside
  6. Add all the ingredients into a bowl – mix well to combine
  7. Add the oil and season to taste with Rub-A-Dub and cracked black pepper
  8. Pour the above into the cast iron skillet and level out if needed
  9. Place into the oven at 400˚ F
  10. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until it is done, checking for desired texture at the 15 minute mark. Stir the mixture using tongs.
  11. Continue to cook until desired doneness is achieved
  12. Check squash by inserting and removing a clean, dry, toothpick into the center. 
  13. Using heat proof gloves, carefully remove the skillet and place on the stove top to cool/rest.
  14. Top with the rough chopped praline pecans and chopped parsley
  15. Rest for 5 minutes
  16. Devour!
  17. Store any leftovers by cooling completely and covering.

We can pair this savory and sweet side dish with a 2019 Chardonnay from Restoration Winery located in Palisade. If you are searching for an alcohol-free beverage to complement this recipe, try a kombucha from Mortal Kombucha in Boulder. For more information on wine, visit Colorado Wine.

Visit ColoradoProud.com for a complete list of recipes. 

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.