Ian and I made my favorite fall dish, Butternut Squash Gratin. This is my fifth fall making it, and I've gradually worked out a recipe that is pretty darned delish.
Butternut Squash Gratin
Smaller butternut squash have more flavor. It's more work to cut up a few of these, but the results are worth it!
3-4 small-medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp. butter
2-3 onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
several sprigs fresh sage, minced and divided
thyme (fresh or dried)
rosemary (fresh or dried)
4 slices high quality bread
2-4 oz. grated Gruyere cheese (or a nice Parmesan)
1/2 - 3/4 cup milk, warmed (recommend whole milk)
Toss the cubed squash in the flour until well coated. Salt and pepper, and set aside.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onion and garlic, along with half of the sage and a pinch of thyme. Saute until the onions began to caramelize and brown. Add the broth and increase heat to medium-high. Stir occasionally until almost all of the broth is absorbed and very little liquid remains. Take the onion mixture off of the heat and spread in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.
Reheat skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. When the oil is hot, place just enough of the squash cubes to cover the pan in a single layer. Cook, tossing gently every minute or two until squash begins to sizzle and starts to nicely brown, about 7 minutes. Place cooked squash on top of onion mixture. Repeat until all of your squash is cooked, usually 2-3 batches depending on your pan size.
Time to make your breadcrumbs! Run the bread through a food processor to make crumbs. Return your non-stick skillet (wiped clean) to medium-low heat, and, if you want, heat a small amount of butter or olive oil. Add the bread and 1-2 teaspoons rosemary, and some salt and pepper. Toss the breadcrumbs and continue to cook about 5-7 minutes until they begin to brown. Set aside.
Sprinkle the cheese and the rest of the sage evenly over the squash mixture, then pour over the warm milk. Cover with tinfoil and cook at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Uncover the squash and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the dish. Continue cooking for 15-250 minutes more, until the squash is browned and sizzling.