Yep, Butternut makes great Pie, Flan, Creme Brulee, Soufflé, Bars, Rolls and the like. But it can really shine with the addition of buttered Panko and cheese. Oh yeah baby... CHEESE!!!
This is where true squash bliss is achieved... that succulent Sweet/Salty combination is to die for. I used Gorgonzola this time, but it makes for a very RICH concoction. This is just as good with Gruyere, in fact, I highly recommend it, but it IS expensive. Please avoid "Swiss" cheeses, such as Emmental, Jarlsberg and Domestic Swiss, as they tend to become rubber after heating.
Butternut au Gratin
2 1/2 lbs Butternut Squash Necks
1 TB Butter
1 TB chopped thyme (1 tsp Dried Thyme)
2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
4 oz crumbled Gorgonzola (or Shredded Gruyere)
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Au Gratin Topping:
1/2 cup Panko
2 TB Butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Use the neck for the au Gratin, save the bulbous bottoms for soup.
Cut the neck in half and peel with a vegetable peeler.
Slice the neck sections into 1/8-to-1/4-inch slices.
Butter a baking dish (or Gratin dish).
Place enough squash slices in the dish to form a single layer and sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, Chopped thyme.....
Then add crumbled Gorgonzola.
Repeat until all squash slices have been used. (I got 4 layers in a 10 x 10 Corning Dish)
Using a fork, toss Panko with melted butter.
Sprinkle the top with Parmigiano-Reggiano then spread the Panko evenly over the top.
Pour cream evenly over top of squash.
Bake 35-45 minutes, or until top is Golden Brown and Yummy!!
Let set for about 10 minutes before cutting to allow the cheese to firm up a tad bit.
If using Gorgonzola, Orange Muscat or Moscato di'Asti makes a delicious accompaniment. If Gruyere is your choice, may I suggest a lightly oaked Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.