How to make butternut squash gratin

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Butternut squash may be the ultimate comfort food. Soft textured and sweet flavored, this ingredient has can be made into a sweet or savory dish. It's sweet flavor has made it a shoo-in for the famous Thanksgiving dish topped with marshmallows, but this ingredient isn't only for Thanksgiving.
Butternut squash makes a regular appearance on my dinner table in gratin form. Au gratin usually refers to a dish with potatoes, but recently chefs have been creatively making every root vegetable into a delicious casserole. Au gratin refers to a browned crust, sometimes breadcrumbs and almost always cheese. Here we combine creamed spinach and butternut squash to make a satisfying side, or top it with pork tenderloin to make it a main.
Why this recipe works: Sweet butternut squash, savory and earthy spinach, and a creamy sauce topped with browned cheese to make this the ultimate comfort dish.
Lindsay Mattison
Butternut Squash and Spinach Gratin
30 minutes
1 hour
1 hour 30 minutes
Butter for greasing the baking dish
1 large butternut squash, peeled and medium diced (about 8 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 and ¼ cups heavy cream
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed and roughly chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Butter a 13x9 broiler-safe casserole dish and set aside
Toss diced butternut squash in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Spread out over two baking sheets in a single layer and roast until tender, about 25 minutes
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
Add onion, salt, and pepper. Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
Add cream and nutmeg and bring to a simmer. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
Add spinach and remove from heat.
In the baking dish, layer one-third the butternut squash along the bottom.
Add half the spinach sauce. Repeat the layering once more, ending with the last third of the butternut squash on top
Sprinkle cheese over the top of the squash and cover with alumum foil.
Bake until squash is fully tender and filling is bubbly, about 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is browned in spots, about 10 minutes.
Turn on the broiler and broil 3 inches from heat for 2 minutes until cheese is fully browned.
Pro Tip: Breaking down a squash may seem overwhelming, but it’s really quite easy! With a chef’s knife, cut off the top and bottom. Stand the squash up on a cutting board and remove the skin using a vegetable peeler. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and again crosswise so you have quartered the squash. Remove the seeds using a spoon and dice away!
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