Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Butternut Squash Gratin with Gruyere

This may very well have been the star of Thanksgiving 2.2. Or maybe the smoked turkey was, I'm not sure. I think they may have tied. I subscribe to email updates from Whole Foods, and a few months ago there was one that featured gruyere cheese. I heart gruyere and its slightly nutty flavor, so I was excited to see what all recipes were listed. As soon as I saw just the title of this one, I knew I'd make it for Thanksgiving 2.2. I thought about making it for regular Thanksgiving, but I figured Jen would want to try it, too, so I'd wait...anxiously..and not very patiently. Plus it's kind of a heart attack in a casserole dish, so I knew it was something I wouldn't be making that often.

Butternut Squash Gratin with Gruyere

1 large (about 3 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices, divided
3 shallots, chopped
2 cups shredded Le Gruyère cheese (about 7 ounces), divided
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9- x 13-inch baking dish and arrange half of the squash slices in the bottom. Sprinkle with shallots and half of the cheese. Cover with remaining squash and sprinkle with remaining cheese. In a small bowl, whisk together cream, salt and pepper; pour cream mixture over squash. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake until browned on top and bubbling, about 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before serving. Serves 10.

Per serving (about 7oz/201g-wt.): 310 calories (200 from fat), 23g total fat, 14g saturated fat, 80mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 19g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 9g protein


I figured since the nutritional info was listed on the website I might as well include it here. Ouch...glad I didn't see that before I ate it, although I was happy to see four grams of fiber and only three grams of sugar.

I cut my squash slightly thinner than a third of an inch and probably could have used a bigger/longer squash. I put all the funky pieces (from the bottom of the squash, around where the seeds are) in the bottom layer so the top would look nice with just the rounds. Also, I'm pretty sure I've never used 1-3/4 cup cream in one dish before in my life. If I were to make it for a normal, every day dinner, I'd probably substitute for half and half or fat free half and half, but since this was a big event, I figured it was worth the splurge.

This dish was AMAZING. I think I dished up last and was surprised that most of it had already been taken. The husband later told me he had thirds of it. There was one little squash piece left after all was said and done. Needless to say, this was a hit. The slight sweetness of the squash with the nutty This is something I will definitely make again, but like I said above, if it wasn't for a special occassion, I'd find a substitute for the cream just to lighten it up. Honestly I think this will become a Thanksgiving 2.whatever tradition, and I may have to start making it for real Thanksgiving too.

Hello, gruyere. Lovely to see you.

Hello, butternut squash. Lovely to see you, too.

Well, hello, second layer of the gratin, and that one lone shallot that somehow made its way to the top.

And finally, hello finished gratin. Don't you look scrumptious.

Okay, just looking at these pictures makes me want to make this again. Tonight. Right now. I'm honestly debating if it's worth a trip to the store for gruyere with both my kids.

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