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Bacon delivers food with flavor-focused style and a chef’s knowledge of how to get the dishes on the table on time, a big help for the harried hostess. “The tzatziki sauce and pots de crème can be prepared two days ahead and refrigerated,” he instructs. “All of the roasted veggies can be made a day ahead, refrigerated, and reheated in a 200°F oven. Whether you bag the quail or buy them, they’re best cooked right before you serve them.”

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Ingredients

3 lbs. butternut squash
2 lbs. acorn squash
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard
Tzatziki sauce (recipe follows)

For the tzatziki sauce:
1 cup cumin seeds
1 cup Greek yogurt (fat-free is fine)
1/2 cup seeded and finely chopped cucumber
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Remove the skin from the butternut and acorn squash with a serrated knife, scrape seeds out with the back of a spoon, and cut the meat into 3/4-inch cubes. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Place the cubes on two rimmed baking sheets and place them in the oven. Roast the squash until fork tender, about 20 minutes.

For the tzatziki sauce:
While the squash are roasting, remove the stems from the chard and trim off the ends. Thinly slice the stems on a bias and reserve. Rinse four large chard leaves with cold water and pat dry. Make stacks of the leaves, roll them into cylinders, and cut them into very thin chiffonade. Reserve. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté the stems until tender, about four minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Use the rest of the chard on the platter with the quail.)

Toss the roasted squash with the chard stems and chiffonade in the serving bowl and drizzle with tzatziki sauce.

Toast the cumin seeds in a small sauté pan over low heat until they release a toasted aroma, two to three minutes. Cool to room temperature and grind. Combine one teaspoon of the toasted ground cumin with all remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve

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