Butternut squash is a good side dish choice for any meal, especially during early autumn. The word “gratin” originated with French cuisine to define recipes prepared in a shallow dish with a crispy browned topping, usually made from cheese, eggs, or breadcrumbs. This recipe has bubbly, browned cheese as its topping.
Use Raw Milk Cheese
Raw milk cheeses are healthier than pasteurized cheeses. It’s what nature intended. Dairy products chemically transform into artery-clogging food substances once they are homogenized and pasteurized. For heart health, eliminate commercial dairy and select raw milk dairy products whenever possible (in moderation). Trader Joe’s market offers some imported raw milk cheeses like the ones used in this recipe.
Butternut Squash Benefits
Squash is one of the oldest known crops, dating back 10,000 years in Mexico and South America. Although available year-round, it peaks in late summer and early autumn. Butternut squash has a slightly sweet, nutty taste and is abundant in nutrients. It’s high in beta-carotene (which converts to Vitamin A), Vitamin C, and essential antioxidants. Its minerals include magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Butternut squash has several health benefits:
- It may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer
- Helps with blood pressure (it’s high in potassium)
- Provides excellent hydration since it’s 87% water
- Helps balance blood sugar due to its fiber content (7 grams per cup)
- Supports the immune system
- Helps with eye health (it contains zeaxanthin and lutein, critical carotenoids) To learn more about eye health read For Healthy Eyes, Take Care of Your Liver
This recipe is perfect as a side dish for poultry or fish. If you’re a vegetarian, add some vegetable protein and make it into a full-meal casserole. For a dairy-free option, try some Daiya vegan cheese. Modify this recipe according to your taste preferences.
Butternut Squash Gratin
- 20 ounces butternut Squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup raw milk Gruyere Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup raw sheep's milk Romano cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- Prepare the squash. Slice off the stem and bottom. Cut the squash into two long pieces by slicing it vertically. Peel each half and scoop out the seeds. Cut 3/4-inch slices using a knife or food processor slicing blade.
- Place the squash in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat for two minutes and drain completely.
- Pour a thin layer of vegetable broth on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish.
- Make a layer of squash slices on the bottom. Use half of the Gruyere cheese for the next layer. Then add another layer of squash slices.
- Use the remaining Gruyere cheese to make the top layer. Add the salt and pepper.
- Top with the remaining vegetable broth and bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and top with the Romano cheese. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F. until the cheese melts and browns (about 10 minutes).
- Let sit for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!