Butternut Squash and Onion Gratin

The first time I made gratin, it was a potato gratin. It was layered with gruyere, potatoes and heavy cream. Needless to say, as a measly 8th grader, I was horrified by the smell of the gruyere baking for 3 hours. The entire house smelled pungently of cheese, and I refused to taste the finished dish because to my unsophisticated nose the gratin smelled… ugh! My mother assured me that it was delicious, but I was certain my mom would think anything I made was delicious so I didn’t believe her.

Since, I tried a variety of different gratins, using more or less cream and different types of cheese. I’ve grown to like the delicate layers of vegetables baked until meltingly tender and delicious with a golden crust of cheese. However, my rapidly increasing sized bottom multiplied by the long hours I spend in the library have lead me to believe that a decrease in cheese and cream is necessary. So I developed a lighter and slightly sweeter gratin that uses just enough cream to keep it together and just enough cheese to get a golden crust.

Butternut Squash and Onion Gratin

  • 1 small butternut squash; halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet  onion; halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley; fined chopped (you may use basil, tarragon, or any other blend of herbs)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
  • 1 cup of finely shredded Parmesan cheese (or any dry, hard cheese that you like)
  1. Butter baking dish. I used two nested Le Creuset stoneware, one that is 4 by 9 and the other is probably 3 by6.
  2. Whisk cream, salt, mustard, and parsley together
  3. Lay discs of butternut squash flat on the bottom of the dish
  4. Then alternate butternut squash and slices of onion
  5. Using a small spoon, spoon the cream and parsley over the layers and top with cheese
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until bubbly and delicious

(My final product, obviously, is over baked. I got wrapped up in cleaning my apartment and forgot to check on my gratin. It was still delicious, but I recommend baking with a timer to avoid my mishap)


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