Butternut Squash and Spinach Gratin

by Sue Taggart

Great for a crowd! Makes a perfect side dish for roast meats, or a vegetarian main course.

Serves 6 as a main course, 8-10 as a side dish:

3                       10oz packs of frozen spinach

5 tbsp               unsalted butter

3/4 c                 onion finely chopped

4lb                     butternut squash

3                         garlic cloves, minced

1 c                       heavy cream

1/4 c                   freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 tbsp                 creamed horseradish

2 tbsp                 salt

3/4 tbsp             freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tbsp             freshly grated nutmeg

Defrost the frozen spinach, squeeze to remove all the water, then coarsely chop and place in a large bowl. Melt three tablespoons of butter in a pan and cook the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Add the onion mixture to the spinach, then add salt, pepper, cream, nutmeg and creamed horseradish. Stir to combine then set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, butter a 3-quart shallow dish (approx. 9’x13”, not glass).

Peel, seed and quarter the squash and cut into ¼” slices. Layer the squash and spinach in the dish—starting and ending with the squash—three to four layers of each.

Sprinkle the top squash with the parmesan cheese and dot with the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling, then pop under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the top.

This can be assembled one day ahead and put into the fridge. Let stand at room temperature for one hour before baking.

This dish is absolutely worth the time it takes to assemble. Any leftovers can be frozen and reheated.

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