Squash and Apple Gratin
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:
Reine des Reinette
Preparation Time55 min
Preparation Time - Text55 minutes
Cooking Time1 min
Cooking Time - Text85
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course, side dish
Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecrisp, savory, spiced, sweet
Type of Dishgratin
- 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
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.
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.
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.
2011 Amy Traverso