Failed kitchen experiments and culinary hacks.

Butternut Squash Gratin

07 Jan 2010


After a long day of work the thought of deciding on what to make for dinner was daunting. Figuring out menu items just didn't work with the state my brain was in. To switch things up, I had Anna pick up random ingredients from the market on the way home to challenge me to fix something up. To add to that particular challenge, we had previously decided that we would have one week out of each month as a vegetarian week. That week happened to have started on Monday, so the challenge had a bonus factor. She returned with a butternut squash, green beans and local Greenpoint mushroom and sauerkraut pierogi. So with the main decided, the rest had to be figured out.

The greenbeans were easy, as they're a fallback side for me. Simply boiling them up and then after 7 minutes, tossing them with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper makes a nice side with some acid that balances out a heavier main. The pierogi would be fried up in butter and served with sour cream, another easy win. But what to do with the butternut squash?

After a quick fridge and pantry check yielded some cream left over from panna cotta, parmesan and a bit of fresh sage. The fix was in and a gratin ensued.

Butternut Squash Gratin

  • 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 2/3 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
  2. Toss squash with cream, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in half of cheese and sprinkle remainder on top. Roast, uncovered, until squash is tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving to allow cream to thicken).