Mimi Thorisson is known for her homey French country cuisine and shares her favorite family recipes in her cookbook, A Kitchen in France. Butternut squash gratin is just an example of how simple and delicious French farmhouse cuisine can be. Sauteed squash is combined with onions and garlic before being baked in the oven with cheese, cream and breadcrumbs. This quick and easy gratin can be made with almost any winter squash. Acorn squash, pumpkin or delicata squash would all work in this recipe. Everyone around the holiday table will love the rustic appearance and pure flavors in this winter dish.
Butternut Squash Gratin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds/680 g butternut squash (about 1 large), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup/120 ml heavy cream
3/4 cup/45 g fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup/75 g grated Comté cheese
A few fresh chives, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter a 10-inch/25-cm baking dish.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, 4 minutes. Add the squash slices and nutmeg and cook until slightly tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the squash mixture to the baking dish. Pour the cream all over, sprinkle the bread crumbs and cheese on top, and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
Bake until golden and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the chives.
Reprinted from A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse. Copyright © 2014 by Mimi Thorisson. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Oddur Thorisson. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House LLC.