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Butternut Squash & Potato Gratin with Walnut Crust

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Serves nine.

To vary this gratin, add tomatoes, caramelized onions, or other vegetables. It's wise to put a sheet of foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any cream that bubbles over.

  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lb.), peeled
  • 2 Idaho potatoes (about 1-1/4 lb. total), peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs combined with 2 Tbs. melted butter

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8-inch (2-qt.) glass or ceramic baking dish. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibers. Slice the squash and potatoes about 1/8 inch thick (use a mandoline if you have one). Line the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of squash (overlapping slightly), season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle with a little of the Parmigiano, and drizzle with a little of the cream. Cover with a layer of potato slices, season with salt, pepper, Parmigiano, and cream. Repeat with the remaining squash and potatoes until the dish is full, ending with a top layer of squash, seasoned and topped with any remaining cheese and cream. (You may have extra squash.) Press down lightly to distribute the cream and compact the layers. The last layer of squash should be just sitting in the cream, but not covered by it. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the vegetables feel tender when poked with a thin, sharp knife (check the middle layer), about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Butternut Squash & Potato Gratin with Walnut Crust Recipe
For a gratin, alternate layers of squash and potato, drizzling cream and sprinkling Parmigiano in between.
Butternut Squash & Potato Gratin with Walnut Crust Recipe
Press gently on the completed layers to distribute the cream evenly.

Combine the walnuts and buttered breadcrumbs. Remove the gratin from the oven, sprinkle with the breadcrumb-nut mixture, and bake until the top is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes before serving so that liquids will set and tighten the gratin. Cut into 9 squares and serve.

Butternut Squash & Potato Gratin with Walnut Crust Recipe
Finish cooking the gratin uncovered to brown the breadcrumb-walnut topping.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 260; Fat (g): fat g 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 21; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 420; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 45; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Martha Holmberg

AMAZING! So good that I feel like I need to reduce my other reviews by one-star. Yes, it takes a lot of prep work, but the long cooking time does indeed let you focus on other things. Paired with a pork pot roast, but lamb would go well, too. Seriously - recruit some friends to help with the prep work and make this! You won't regret it! Neither will they!

This dish is soooooo delicious, and I never even thought I was much of a squash fan. It's a bit of work to assemble but prep can be done ahead of time, and once it's in the oven you can focus on other things! So worth it, and definitely a repeatable fall/winter recipe!

This wonderful dish has been a Thanksgiving favorite in my family for several years now. I haven't changed anything from the original recipe - no need it's so good. It's obviously more fiddly than mashed potatoes, but well worth the trouble - a terrific addition to any meal, Thanksgiving or otherwise!

I've made this gratin many times. It is especially nice for sharing at a holiday dinner because of its unique and satisfying flavor. It also works well as a vegetairian main course. I often get requests for the recipe from people who think their family don't like squash. The combination of ingredients creates an entirely new savory flavor, so don't skip or skimp on any of them. A mandoline slices both the squash and potatoes very nicely.

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