Monday, October 15, 2012

Butternut Squash Gratin






It's autumn, the season of change. One of the quintessential fall vegetable casseroles made with half and half cream or crème fraîche, is this smooth, rich and creamy Butternut Squash Gratin. Perfect seasonal autumn or winter fare, the bright orange hue of the squash peeking out from beneath a blanket of melted cheese is enough to make you want to delve into this golden baked heartwarming dish. Simple and delicious, this quick, easy and flavourful gratin makes most of the the season's harvest. October is prime time for a multitude of delicious and versatile gourds — everyone seems to have their favourite — this luscious recipe is wonderfully delicious with either spaghetti, acorn, zucchini or butternut squash — just be sure you make enough, it goes fast!




Butternut Squash Gratin
Serves 6
Recipe & photo courtesy of Paragary’s Bar and Oven

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 cups heavy cream or crème fraîche
1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
Sea salt and pepper
2 Bay leaves
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyère cheese
4 sprigs of sage for garnish

Combine cream, garlic, herbs, and onions in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Continue to cook until the garlic and onion are very soft, about 30-40 minutes. Place a sieve over a large bowl and strain the mixture and season with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.

Arrange the slices of squash in a 9”x13” baking dish, seasoning each layer with a little Parmigiano cheese. Pour the infused cream over the layered squash and season the top with more cheese. Allow the ingredients to settle for several minutes, then bake the gratin at 350°F until the squash is very tender and cream has been absorbed. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving with a few sprigs of garnish.