Friday, March 1, 2013

Butternut Squash Gratin with Goat Cheese and Bacon

Here's another great butternut squash recipe that we made recently (yes, I was serious about butternut squash overload in our CSA!).  Depending on how much you serve, I think this recipe works well as a side dish or a main.  Despite having a vegetable as its main ingredient, this squash gratin is definitely not light: goat cheese, cream, pecans, and bacon make this a decadent comfort food.  I was in love - roasted squash pairs beautifully with all these ingredients, and they all bring something to the table: tangy goat cheese, crunchy pecans, smoky bacon, and of course wonderful creaminess from the cream!  I wouldn't make this every week, but it's definitely a treat worth the calories once in a while.


Butternut Squash Gratin with Goat Cheese and Bacon (adapted from Bon Appetit)
Serves 4 as a main, more as a side

8 cups cubed butternut squash (about 3-1/2 pounds whole)
2 T olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 T butter
3 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 T minced fresh sage
4 slices bacon, sliced into small pieces
Spray oil
4 ounces crumbed goat cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil.
2. Place the squash in a large bowl and drizzle with the oil.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Toss everything to coat the squash.  Spread out the squash in one layer on the baking sheet.  Roast until just tender and starting to brown, stirring occasionally, 30-35 minutes.
3. While the squash is roasting, melt the butter in a heavy non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the leeks and sage, and sprinkle with salt.  Saute until tender but not browned, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl, and wipe out the skillet.  Add the bacon, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until crispy.  Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain off any excess fat.
4. Remove the squash from the oven and turn the temperature down to 375 degrees.
5. Spray a 2 or 2-1/4 quart baking dish with oil.  Layer in the fillings: half the leeks, half the squash, and then half the goat cheese; then repeat with the remaining ingredients.
6. Pour the cream evenly over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with the bacon and the pecans.  Bake uncovered until heated through and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

5 comments:

  1. Minus the bacon this gratin sounds like something I absolutely need in my life! The goat cheese/butternut combo is the best.

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    1. Yep, this would be super easy to make vegetarian...in fact, I think the original recipe didn't even have bacon, I just added some because it was in the fridge and needed to get used up! :)

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  2. What a great idea to pair the sweet butternut with tangy goat cheese!

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  3. Butternut squash is one of my most favorite vegetables! Combining it with goat cheese and bacon sounds so delicious!

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  4. there could never be enough butternut squash in my life, and i've never thought to combine it with goat cheese. I'll definitely be trying this as dinner sometime soon.

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