Butternut Squash Gratin

Kendall’s sister made this butternut squash gratin last year and I really loved it, so it was my contribution this year when I had Thanksgiving with Sam’s family this year. I found the recipe at epicurious. The original calls for hazelnuts, but Sam and his father are allergic to nuts so I skipped them. I’m still thinking about what to substitute them with the next time I make it. This would be a work intensive dish if you had to prepare the squash yourself. I was able to find butternut squash that had already been skinned, seeded, and cubed at the grocery store. Another bonus is that you can prepare this the day before which was really convenient when preparing a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner! (Just don’t add the whipping cream until you’re ready to put it in the oven.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium), peeled, seeded, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
  • 3 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 5.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place squash on roasting pan and roast until tender and starting to brown, stirring occasionally (about 35 minutes).
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small frying pan. Add leeks and sage, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. Coat 11×7 baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Spread half of the leek mixture into baking dish, then add half of butternut squash sprinkle with half of goat cheese. Repeat.
  4. Pour whipping cream over the casserole and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbling. 
    1. I covered with foil for the first 20 minutes because I did not use toasted hazelnuts.
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