Gratins and I are a match made in heaven. Anything that is covered with creamy, cheesy goodness and baked to a crisp is a winner in my book. This is exactly what this recipe entails. I wanted to do something a little bit different than your ordinary potato gratin. I thought that butternut squash would work perfectly. Boy, did it work perfectly. This dish is everything you crave in a warming Thanksgiving Day side dish. It is packed full of all those wonderful Autumn flavors. It’s also surprisingly easy to whip up and can even be made (without baking it) in advance. Anything that can be made in advance is a winner in my book, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving Day festivities. We paired this butternut squash gratin with one of the best pale ales I’ve had in a really long time. This is a dish that I am sure will please just about anyone. Enjoy!
For Play by Play Action:
Weather: It’s cool, but gorgeous…as usual =).
What am I doing: I am currently hanging out with my mom, and getting ready to enjoy the day. We went for a beautiful run this morning, and the views are just spectacular. There is just something about that front range that melts my heart every time I take a peek at it. It’s so nice living so close to such beauty.
Recipe Fun Facts:
I think the most important thing to know about making this recipe, is to make sure your sauce is thick. The first time I made it, the sauce was much too thin. You definitely want some substance to it. If you find the sauce to be too thin even after you let it simmer, either let it simmer for a couple more minutes, or sprinkle in some more flour. The choice is yours. I prefer a thicker sauce, but if you wish for thinner, than go for it!
This recipe (up until the baking stage) is perfect when it’s made ahead of time. You can prepare the entire thing, cover and refrigerate it for a couple of hours before baking it off. I feel that you really get that perfect consistency when you go this route.
We had yet to go down the Crooked Stave
route…until just a couple of days ago that is. Wow, do they produce a solid brew. The first one on our list was their American Pale Ale: Hop Savant
. I’m being completely honest when I say this is one of the best pale ales I’ve ever had. It’s truly outstanding and it pairs EXTREMELY well with this gratin. I feel like you need some general substance to a beer in order to pair it with this gratin. It compliments that subtle hint of white wine in the gratin. It’s a great pairing and a great beer all together. Give it a try!
Enjoy your day!
This butternut squash gratin recipe is creamy, cheesy and sultry. It''s the perfect Thanksgiving Day side dish.
- 3 pounds butternut squash, seeds and skin removed, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped (or 4 small leeks)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 loaf baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 8 total slices)
- 6 ounces manchego cheese, grated
- 2 ounces asiago cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons basil, julienned
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the squash. Lower the heat to medium and cover. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Rinse with cool water and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic. Cook for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour, and whisk until all of the flour has been absorbed. Whisk in the white wine and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it has reduced by half. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the chicken broth, whole milk and heavy cream. Cook until thickened, approximately 5-6 minutes. You should be able to very easily coat the back of a spoon with the mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Begin assembling your gratin. Heavily grease an 8x8 inch baking dish. Add half of the butternut squash and top with half of the leek and cream mixture. Top with 4 slices of baguette and sprinkle with half of the manchego cheese. Repeat these steps again with what''s left, and sprinkle the second layer of manchego cheese with the asiago cheese.
- Bake covered for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F and then remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is bubbly and golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy!
Hardware: * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Large Pot * Non-Stick Skillet * Strainer * 8x8inch Baking Dish * Cheese Grater *