Butternut Squash Gratin
Mill City Cooks

Squash Gratin with Cilantro Pesto

By: Market Chef Jenny Breen

Serves 8.

Ingredients

For the Gratin

  • 1 large or 2 small butternut or other meaty squash, like kabocha or buttercup, peeled and cut into slices ½ inch thick and 2 inches wide (cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, then slice, for rounder squash, cut in quarters lengthwise and then slice)
  • 3 carrots, sliced diagonally, long and thin
  • 3 medium gold beets, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium parsnips or turnips or a combination, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Cilantro Pesto

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch cilantro or a combination of fresh herbs
  • ½ cup toasted almonds or pecans
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Optional Toppings

  • 1/2 cup feta or blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup asiago or other hard cheese, grated
  • Chopped pitted olives
  • Chopped or sliced tomatoes

Method

Combine root vegetables with olive oil, balsamic and salt and roast at 350 degrees until tender, stirring regularly for about 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, sauce in large skillet with olive oil and salt, covering to allow to cook and caramelize until tender-about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare cilantro pesto by combining all of the pesto ingredients in food processor or blender, adjusting the pesto with more oil or cilantro for desired texture to your taste, and set aside.

When root vegetables have cooled, layer in a deep baking dish as follows: root vegetables, pesto, feta, blue or goat cheese. Repeat layers and finish with the asiago Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes, or covered on medium flame until heated through and cheese is thoroughly melted-about 7 minutes.