Tired of the same old Thanksgiving side dishes? Mix it up with this staff favorite from food writer Patsy Jamieson, who created a farm-to-table feast for our November/December 2007 issue.
Butternut Squash and Leek Gratin
½ cup panko breadcrumbs or fresh breadcrumbs, divided
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 large leeks (white and pale parts only) cleaned and thinly sliced
3 pounds butternut squash (1 large or 2 small), peeled, seeded and cut into 3/8-inch-thick slices
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1½ cups Gruyère cheese
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease an 11-inch-by-7-inch or 12-inch-by-8¼-inch shallow baking dish or gratin dish. Sprinkle bottom with ¼ cup breadcrumbs.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and cook until tender, stirring often, 4 to 6 minutes. (Add a little water if leeks scorch.) Set aside.
Spread half of the squash slices in prepared baking dish. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Spread leek mixture over squash. Top with remaining squash. Gently pour broth over squash. Season with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cover baking dish with a greased sheet of foil. Bake until squash is almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese over top of gratin. Mix remaining ¼ cup breadcrumbs and butter in small bowl; sprinkle over cheese. Bake gratin, uncovered, until squash is tender and top is golden, 10 to 20 minutes. Serves 8.