Gratin de Potiron
(French winter squash casserole)
This silken, gently sweet casserole with a golden crust puts autumn's harvest of winter squash to great use. With origins in the Provence Alpes region of France, gratin de potiron makes a terrific side dish to roast pork or duck.
The French use a Hubbard-like squash with deep orange flesh. Butternut squash is an excellent substitute. Also called gratin de courge.
4 to 6 servings
- Olive oil -- 6 tablespoons
- Onion, thinly sliced -- 1/2
- Winter squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced -- 2 pounds
- Water -- 1/4 cup
- Cream or half-and-half -- 1/2 cup
- Eggs, beaten -- 2
- Salt and white pepper -- to season
- Parmesan cheese, grated -- 1/3 cup
- Breadcrumbs -- 1/2 cup
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium flame. Add the onion and saute until wilted and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the winter squash or pumpkin and the water, cover tightly and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the squash is cooked through and soft.
- Remove the squash from heat and mash with a potato masher until fairly smooth.
- Beat the cream or half and half and eggs together and stir into the squash, along with the salt and pepper and half of the Parmesan cheese.
- Place the squash into a greased or buttered casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through and browned on top. Serve immediately.
Gratin de Potiron Variations
- Most any type of winter squash or sweet pumpkin works well for this dish — butternut, Hubbard, turban.
- Instead of Parmesan, try using Gruyère or another type of Swiss cheese.
- Stir some fresh thyme or a little grated nutmeg into the squash before making.