Sunday, October 16, 2011

RECPE: Kale and Winter Squash Gratin

1 medium winter or butternut squash (about 1.5 pounds), cut in half and seeded
1 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces kale (stems trimmed and large ribs removed), rinsed and cut into thin slices
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch allspice
Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme, coarsely chopped
3/4 cups heavy cream (or 1% milk for lighter mixture)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use butter to lightly grease a large (2 -quart) gratin dish.
2. Peel the squash, then cut it crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale, still slightly damp, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until it has wilted.
4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 45 to 60 seconds, until it is fragrant.
5. Place half of the sliced squash in the prepared gratin dish; season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Combine the nutmeg, allspice and thyme in a small bowl.
7. Place the kale over the squash and sprinkle with half of the nutmeg-thyme mixture. Top with the remaining squash and sprinkle with the remaining nutmeg-thyme mixture.
8. Pour the cream over the vegetables; cover the gratin dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tender.
9. While the vegetables are baking, combine the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a small bowl.
10. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Discard the foil from the gratin dish and use a spatula to press down on the mixture. Sprinkle the bread crumb-cheese mixture over the vegetables.
11. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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