Butternut Squash Gratin with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Savory leeks and sweet squash combine in this warming dish sure to tempt every taste bud and leave you feeling satisfied. Add this to your menu for a perfect complement to any fall table; a sure winner for your holiday table too!

1⁄2 cup hazelnuts
3 1⁄2 pounds butternut organic squash , peeled, seeded, and cubed (frozen may be substituted)
2 tablespoons olive oil
  salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups organic onions or leeks, sliced
1 tablespoon organic fresh sage, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
5 ounces baby spinach, washed
5 ounces soft goat cheese, chopped
1 cup half and half, or plain, unsweetened hazelnut milk
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Heat the hazelnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until nuts just start to turn a little brown and smell fragrant. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.
  3. Place butternut squash, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly. Transfer the seasoned squash onto a baking sheet and roast until just tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Reduce the oven to 375° F.
  5. In a sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add the onions or leeks, sage, thyme, and nutmeg. Cook 15 minutes, or until onions/leeks are soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach.
  6. Butter a 9x13” baking dish; spread half of the onion mixture over the bottom. Next layer half of the squash and half of the goat cheese. Repeat the layering with rest of the onions/leeks, squash, and goat cheese. Pour the half and half over the gratin. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and sprinkle them over the top. Bake uncovered until bubbling, about 35 minutes.


Source: Chef Lynda Lacher


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