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Squash and Apple Gratin

This image courtesy of Squire Fox

This hearty dish is substantial enough to serve as a vegetarian main course, but also makes a nice accompaniment to roast chicken or turkey. The sliced apples and butternut squash lend sweetness, while a crumbly top of garlicky breadcrumbs gives a savory balance.

NotesIn a pinch, you can substitute 1¼ cups (3 ounces; 81 grams) of panko breadcrumbs for the fresh ones. Toss them with 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus the nutmeg and garlic, then sprinkle over the apples.

Any firm-sweet apple will work well in this gratin, and playoff the savory crumb topping.

Firm Sweet Apples:

Baldwin

Black Oxford

Blue Pearmain

Braeburn

Cameo

Ginger Gold

Golden Delicious

Golden Russet

Gravenstein

Grimes Golden

Honeycrisp

Jazz

Jonagold

Keepsake

Melrose

Mutsu

Opalescent

Piñata

Pink Lady

Reine des Reinette

Spigold

SweeTango

Winter Banana

Zabergau Reinette

6 servings

Preparation Time55 min

Preparation Time - Text55 minutes

Cooking Time1 min

Cooking Time - Text85

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecrisp, savory, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishgratin

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium (1½ pounds or 680g) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch-wide crescents and half moons
  • 4 ounces (115g) Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick; 56g) salted butter, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 medium firm-sweet apples (about 12 ounces total; see Notes) peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
  • 1½ ounces (46 g) crusty white bread, such as Pullman style or Italian, torn into small pieces (see Notes)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2-quart gratin dish or 8-inch square baking dish
  • 10- to 12- inch skillet
  • Food processor

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack to the middle position. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and broth. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the cheese, cream mixture, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Pour into a gratin or baking dish, cover with foil, and bake until the squash is tender, 35 to 45 minutes, turning the dish and removing the foil halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.

  2. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion, and cook until it begins to brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rosemary, the remaining 114 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the apples, and cook until they are tender and beginning to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes. Spread evenly over squash. Turn the broiler to high.

  3. In a food processor, pulse the bread with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the garlic, and nutmeg to create coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the squash and apples. Broil, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.

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