Kale and Butternut Squash Gratin 8.000

Terry Allen for The Washington Post

Nov 19, 2008

This is a creamy and rich way to treat fall's deeply colored vegetables.

Make Ahead: This dish may be assembled up to 2 days ahead. On serving day, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Bake as directed.

Servings: 8 - 10
  • 2 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds), cut in half and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 ounces kale (stems trimmed and large ribs removed), rinsed and cut into thin slices
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch allspice
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons panko (japanese) bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use butter to lightly grease a large (2 1/2-quart) gratin dish.

Peel the squash, then cut it crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale, still slightly damp, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until it has wilted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 45 to 60 seconds, until it is fragrant.

Place half of the sliced squash in the prepared gratin dish; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the nutmeg, allspice and thyme in a small bowl.

Place the kale over the squash and sprinkle with half of the nutmeg-thyme mixture. Top with the remaining squash and sprinkle with the remaining nutmeg-thyme mixture.

Pour the cream over the vegetables; cover the gratin dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tender.

While the vegetables are baking, combine the panko bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a small bowl.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Discard the foil from the gratin dish and use a spatula to press down on the mixture. Sprinkle the bread crumb-cheese mixture over the vegetables. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Recipe Source

From chef Virginia Willis.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.