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
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.
From chef Virginia Willis.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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