Autumn is my favorite season in New York. The weather's perfect, it has halloween and thanksgiving (two of my favorite holidays), Starbucks breaks out their winter cups, and most importantly all of my favorite foods are in season. This recipe uses one of those food, butternut squash, and is also the perfect warm, comforting dish for autumn weather.
Butternut squash, hazelnut and goat cheese gratin from Bon Appetit
makes 8-10 servings as a side dish, 4-6 as a main dish
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*coarse kosher salt (we used regular salt stolen from the dining hall)
*4 tablespoons butter, divided
*3 Cups sliced leeks
*1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
*1 1.5 oz log soft goat cheese
*1 cup heavy whipping cream
*1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (we used pecans because we couldn't find any hazelnuts at the store)
*3 1/2 lb butternut squash (about 2 medium), peeled, seeded, cut into cubes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Combine squash and oil in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss. Spread on baking sheet, roast for 35 minutes.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a pan, add sliced leeks and sage, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until tender but not brown, about 15 minutes.
Coat dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Put half of the leek mixture in it, then half of the squash mixture, then half of the cheese. Continue layering in this manner until you run out.
Preheat oven to 375. Pour cream over the casserole, sprinkle with nuts, and bake for about 30 minutes uncovered.