a fine Cheese, heavy cream, herbs and potatoes are the basic elements of the age-old dish, gratin. A deceptively simple dish to make, gratin is the quintessential comfort food. Break through the slightly browned and crispy crust into the sumptuous, soft and gooey center and an aromatic scent of fresh herbs and aged cheese is released – it both nourishes and stirs up the nostalgia of holidays past and times filled with love.
This Butternut Squash Gratin is a reinvention of the classic – it was created by Manger blogger Mimi Thorisson for her debut cookbook, A Kitchen in France. Mimi lightens the heaviness of the dish by replacing potatoes with squash, offering a reprieve from the traditional holiday spread, while still paying homage to French cuisine. Assemble this elegant and visually stunning squash gratin for your next gathering, and capture the essence of autumnal seasonal flavors.
Mimi Thorisson’s Butternut Squash Gratin
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 1⁄2 lbs butternut squash (about 1 large), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1⁄4 tsp grated nutmeg
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
3⁄4 cup fresh bread crumbs
3⁄4 cup grated Comté cheese
A few fresh chives, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch baking dish.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, 4 minutes. Add the squash slices and nutmeg and cook until slightly tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the squash mixture to the baking dish. Pour the cream all over, sprinkle the bread crumbs and cheese on top, and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
Bake until golden and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the chives.
Reprinted from A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse. Copyright © 2014 by Mimi Thorisson. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Oddur Thorisson. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House LLC.