Local Readers Theresa Greco, Creator of The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine and Kristin Wood Share Their Favorite Holiday Recipes

Butternut Squash & Bacon Casserole 

3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes  
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, minced

1 red onion, chopped

1/2 pound bacon, diced

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

8 oz. baguette, crusts removed and bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Salt and pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease a Farberware 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and the sage. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until tender, about 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Let cool. 

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add the bacon, cook on low heat until just starting to crisp, then add the onions. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the onions are tender. Let cool. 

In a large bowl beat eggs together with the milk. Add 1 tsp. of salt and ½ tsp. ground black pepper. Stir in the bread and let stand for 10 minutes. Fold in the squash and the bacon and onions. Transfer the mixture to a prepared casserole dish and bake for about 1 hour, until lightly golden on top. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

The prepared casserole can be covered and refrigerated or frozen several days before baking.

—Theresa Greco

 

Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

 

1 batch gluten-free and vegan pre-prepared pie crust dough (can use regular, as well)

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree 

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 cup tapioca starch 

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. sea salt or pink salt

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. full fat coconut milk

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Take prepared pie crust dough and evenly press into the bottoms and sides of a greased pie dish. Prick the dough with a fork. Optionally press or crimp the edges as desired. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine pumpkin, maple syrup, tapioca flour, spices and salt. Whisk until smooth.

Pour in coconut milk. Mix until smooth.

Pour pie filling into prepared pie crust shell. Smooth the top evenly with the back of a spoon.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 1 hour or until the filling is set but still has a slight jiggle in the center and the crust edges are turning golden.

Remove and let cool, then place in the refrigerator to cool and set for at least 4 hours before serving.

Optionally, top with a dollop of whipped coconut cream before serving. Enjoy!

—Kristin Wood