We’re wrapping up one of the most gorgeous fall weekends in Wisconsin – end of October is always up for grabs, and I am thankful that I got to spend this time on my cousins farm, looking at the view of Vernon County. My cousins all farm, and boy, did I reap the benefits – I brought home a car full of beef (not all for my freezer!), beautiful canned pickles, tomatoes, sauces, and beef tips, and end-of-season butternut squash, fall squash, apples and onions from Tucker & Becky’s Pumpkin Patch.

I was pretty tired when I got home, but decided to start roasting some butternut squash and see if I could figure out a recipe for lunch this week. One episode of “Chopped” later, I remembered that I had bacon in the fridge and maple balsamic vinegar had been pushed to the back of the cupboard waiting for inspiration.

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And inspired I was! This fall dish indicates that my palate is changing a bit, too – I can’t think of a better comfort food, and for some reason the mild squash and rice combo is agreeing with my constitution, helping me feel good physically.

Bacon Butternut Squash & Rice

2 small to medium butternut squash
1 pkg. bacon (I used Neuske’s smoked bacon)
1.5 c. Jasmine rice, cooked
3 tbsp. maple balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. honey

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Poke your squash with a knife and roast for one hour. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle. Slice open and remove seeds and stringy innards. Cube squash and put in bowl.

While your rice is cooking, chop bacon into 1/4″ slices and cook until crispy.

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Do not drain your bacon! Put it into the bowl with your squash and add rice. Add honey and vinegar; mix well. If you need a little more oil, use your bacon drippings.

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Serve warm and enjoy! Would it be too untraditional to make this for thanksgiving? I think it would taste great as a side dish to my turkey!