Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business.
Fact: bacon makes everything better. So does cooking with its delicious fat. So does combining it with the sweet flavor of maple syrup. Oh man, I’m too excited! Let’s get to the recipe.
1 large squash (winter, acorn, whatever you prefer)
8 strips of thick cut, peppered bacon
4 tbsp (real) maple syrup
Red chili flakes
1 bag of baby spinach
Okay, the squash needs to be peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes and then boiled for around 4 minutes, to soften it up. After 4 minutes, drain the squash and transfer it to a large mixing bowl to let it cool slightly. While this is going on, prepare the bacon.
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. To prepare the bacon, line a 8×8 or 9×9 pan with tin foil. Then lay the bacon out on the bottom. Pour the maple syrup evenly over the bacon and spread it around so that it coats each strip. Put the bacon in the oven and let it bake for 25-30 minutes. When the bacon is cooked, remove the strips from the pan and pour the bacon fat/maple syrup elixir (oh the sweet elixir) over the squash (leave the oven on). Add a pinch of kosher salt and some chili flakes, to your taste. Mix it up to coat the squash. Put the squash back in the bacon pan and stick it back in the oven. Cook it for a total of about 30 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes.
Chop up your cooked bacon and dump it into the serving bowl. Add the spinach on top of it. When the squash is done, pour it and all its juices over the bacon and spinach. Toss it and serve it as a warm salad.