Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables. This butternut squash gratin features one of my favorite flavor combinations: butternut squash, browned butter, and sage. This recipe is a little bit healthier than the average gratin as it contains milk instead of cream, which was thickened with white whole wheat flour. I am sure regular all-purpose flour would work well too, but we are trying to limit our grains to whole grains. Honestly, the cream sauce here based on the one I use for my macaroni and cheese, and I totally couldn’t tell that the flour was different. So, whole white wheat is going to be making more frequent appearances in my recipes.
This recipe is actually pretty quick. I microwave the butternut squash before I peel and cut it, which saves an enormous amount of time for me. As embarrassing as it is, I have a really hard time cutting butternut squash. I just don’t have very strong hands. But, if you prick the skin with a knife and microwave it, butternut becomes tender and easy to deal with in no time. Not to mention, it is cooked. I mean there is no roasted or boiling or anything, it is already cooked when you peel it. In the recipe, I used right at four pounds of squash. This will probably be at least two squash for you, but for some reason our grocery store only had really huge squash, so I only used one.
Butternut Squash Gratin
Yield 4 -6
- 4 pounds butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup whole white wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk (I used 2 percent.)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- pepper to taste both in sauce and on top
- 1 1/4 cups shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prick squash with a knife and microwave on high until tender. Mine took about 15 minutes, but I had one squash that was four pounds by itself.
- While squash is cooking, cook butter over medium heat until browned. Stir in flour, until smooth.
- Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Stir in salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook, stirring constantly until thickened. It will not be super thick, but noticeably thicker than before cooking
- When squash is cool enough to handle, slice in half and remove seeds. Slice each half into thin slices.
- Layer half of the slices in a baking dish, cover with half of the sauce and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the sage.
- Repeat layers.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and top with Parmesan and remaining teaspoon of sage. Return to the oven and bake until cheese is melted and just beginning to brown.