Crumble with potatoes, bacon and squash

February 28, 2011  •  Category:


One thing I admire about French (and American) chefs: They have no qualms taking specialties from around the world and modifying them with the utmost confidence; now I don’t know who came up with the idea of a savory crumble but I see it on French cooking sites a lot.

This is inspired by one such crumble made with pumpkin, cream and lardons (bacon bits) and topped with a crumble of flour, butter and hazelnuts.

Except my version has some Middle-Eastern touches.

One  advantage of this crumble is that it can be prepared in advance and baked 30 minutes before dinnertime.

Another advantage is that the vegetables can be varied ad infinitum as well as the spices and nuts used in the topping.

INGREDIENTS: 8 servings

  • 1 Kabocha squash (or a small pumpkin or a can of pumpkin)
  • 4 Baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds or 675 g.)
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • For the mashed potato: 1/2 cup of melted butter noisette (melt the butter until browned bits show up at the bottom of the pan with a distinct nutty and delicious fragrance)
  • 1/2 cup of cream or half-and-half (or half cream, half milk)
  • salt, black pepper, sumac (to sprinkle on the potatoes, it gives a slight lemony taste and cuts down the richness), a pinch of nutmeg and 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • For the crumble: 3/4 cup of flour (white or whole wheat), 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of polenta, 4 tablespoons of dukkah (can substitute roasted chopped nuts of your choice), salt to taste.


  1. Boil the potatoes until cooked; cut the squash in half and bake in the oven until soft (remove the fibrous interior first) . Peel and mash the potatoes, adding salt, sumac, and several tablespoons of melted butter. Keep the texture coarse. Set aside.
  2. Peel and cut the squash in small chunks, place in a pot and add 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup (up to 1/2 cup) of cream; bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes; remove from the heat and mash the squash, adding salt, and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Fry the bacon bits and drain on a paper towel-lined sieve.
  4. Grease the ramequins or a pyrex pie plate with some melted butter; spread the first layer with potatoes; sprinkle the top with the bacon bits and a few tablespoons of chopped parsley. Cover the layer of bacon and parsley with the creamed squash, spreading it all over the pan or ramequins. Set aside.
  5. To make the crumble, either use a mini food-processor or a fork or the tip of your fingers. Place the flour, butter (cut up in small pieces), polenta and dukkah in a bowl and rub it in until the texture is like sand. Spread the mixture over the pan or ramequins and when ready to serve, bake in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes; you can run it under the broiler for one minute at the end to give it a nice golden color. Serve warm.

For the dukkah recipe, clickhere.


34 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. T.W Barritt says:

    Why shouldn’t a crumble be savory, instead of sweet? It makes perfect sense to me, and I would crave this recipe over a blueberry crumble any day.

  2. domi says:

    Bonjour Joumana, quelle belle…bouteille !!! Et sans être ” de vin ” aucun doute sur les trésors de saveurs qui se cachaient sous cette belle croûte, croustillante et dorée. Ta citrouille à toi est vraie…bisous et passe une super journée

  3. stacey snacks says:

    I love that you call this a crumble!
    Looks scrumptious delicious!

  4. Ellie (Almost Bourdain) says:

    Very nice savory crumble recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Mary says:

    This is such a delicious looking dish. I would be thrilled to have this for any meal! I love squash, and with the sumac and dukkah: amazing and so creative. Thank you.

  6. Carolyn Jung says:

    I love the whole notion of a savory crumble. Plus, I also can never resist anything with kabocha in it. My fave squash!

  7. Cherine says:

    This crumble looks so tasty. I love everything about it!

  8. Meeta says:

    Comfort food at it’s best. I adore savory crumbles!

  9. Priya says:

    Very inviting savory crumble,yumm!

  10. Nuts about food says:

    A savory crumble…now that is an original, really good idea. Thank you

  11. Joanne says:

    A savory crumble! I’m so in. It sounds like it’s filled with a great mix of ingredients!

  12. Steve @ HPD says:

    Just when I thought I had seen anything, something so obvious has been sitting there unnoticed by my radar. Thanks so much … definitely a keeper.

  13. Scienter says:

    I’m actively trying to eat more potatoes. This looks great! I *hated* potatoes as a kid and as a result, I’ve avoided them into adulthood. But, I’ve had good potato dishes in restaurants so I’m trying to find was to eat them that I like. This looks really tasty because it has other things in it besides just potato.

  14. Suman Singh says:

    hmm…a savory that’s innovative..looks yummy!

  15. Conor @Hold the Beef says:

    Excellent course for a dinner party, being able to prepare it earlier and leave you time to relax with your guests. Extra points for bacon too 🙂

  16. Katerina says:

    I like the idea of a savory crumble. Food mustn’t have barriers. Inspiration is the guide!

  17. Dciane says:

    I love any dish that has bacon it it, this sounds fantastic. I have made a note of this. Thanks Diane

  18. Deepapraveen says:

    Never tired this before and I am going to try this soon.

  19. sweetlife says:

    a savory crumble, oh a perfect idea, I would love this for dinner…and a glass of wine, lol
    have a great week

  20. Oui, Chef says:

    Isn’t this just a brilliant looking thing…YUM! – S

  21. Dana says:

    Oooh! I like the idea of savory crumble.

  22. Azita says:

    love the idea of a savory crumble!It sounds delicious and looks so good!

  23. Ayesha Jameel says:

    wow ! lovely dishes and a really good presentation 🙂 will definitely try this out
    I have a blog too .I would be really happy if you follow it !

  24. Juliana says:

    Oh! I love kabocha, and what a lovely combination with potatoes, bacon and all the yummie spices…looks delicious!

  25. Simply Life says:

    oh I am loving this idea- who wouldn’t love eating out of that adorable dish?!

  26. lisaiscooking says:

    The sumac on the squash and potatoes sounds lovely as does the dukkah in the topping. Great additions to the dish!

  27. Claudia says:

    I do love a savory crumble. I prticularly am enamoured with how rich this vegetable dish is as we will have winter for quite a few weeks yet. It nourishes and warms and I found sumac!

  28. Joan Nova says:

    Wow, I really like this dish Joumana. Great combination of tastes here.

  29. marla says:

    I am loving the idea of this savory crumble & I must try something like it. A complete meal in that ramekin. xo

  30. Jamie says:

    You seem to have no trouble adapting recipes and creating something delicious and unique! And always that Middle Eastern touch which I love. I love savory crumbles but never make them but this one I must try. Wonderful ingredients and YAY just bought dukkah!

  31. Magic of Spice says:

    I love the idea of a savory crumble…fantastic 🙂

  32. grace says:

    a savory crumble? i love it! the innards of this particular creation are completely appealing–well done, joumana. 🙂

  33. Rosanne says:

    Had this bookmarked and made it last Saturday and all plates were licked clean. You never disappoint 🙂 it was followed by the loukum ice cream for dessert! Thank you.

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