Friday, October 23, 2009

It's The au Gratin Pumpkin Charlie Brown - Butternut au Gratin

My appetite has been whet for the wonderful fall flavor of winter squashes due to the soufflé from last night. Today I have decided to bring in the savory.

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.



Michele said...

You know, I've never made anything au gratin (besides those individual potatoes we all made) but this makes me really want to try it. I love the melty goodness!

Unknown said...

oooh my gosh!! that looks amazing. holy moly!!! (love the title btw). I really want to make this but I'm not a huge lover (read not at all) of strong cheeses. Would Gouda work?

Btw...I have someething for you on my blog...go get it :)

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Thanks Michele - I agree, melty goodness is awesome... :) The hardest part is all the slicing, the rest of it is SUPER easy.

Danielle - I would suggest Gruyere, not so sure about Gouda... maybe Beemster

Spryte said...

OMG that looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

Patti T. said...

I would love this with gruyere, it is one of my favorite cheeses. I am trying to get to the farmers market and these squash are on my list.