Last weekend while I was at the Minneapolis Farmers Market picking up my delivery of Blue Gentian Farm meat, I had $3 in cash in my wallet. Wanting to have something nice and seasonable to go along with some of our meat, I wandered the entire market looking for the best deals on vegetables and ended up settling on a good sized $2 butternut squash and a bunch of the largest leeks I’ve ever seen (they were as big around as a quarter and over a foot long) for $1. Earlier in the week I had come into possession of a butternut squash and leek gratin recipe which sounded so fucking good that I was nearly foaming at the mouth that i could do it for about $5 total.
We were busy this weekend but I was determined to make the meal on Monday night. While I had skimmed the recipe I hadn’t paid that much attention to the details so I has absolutely no idea how long it was going to take until after I had prepped most of the meal–committing me to the entire thing. Eventually, after nearly 2.5 hours, we ate some of the best pork I have ever eaten and two ramekins of Parmesan topped butternut squash and leek gratin which, while decent, was not nearly as good as the length of time it took to prep and then bake.
We have plenty of leftovers and now I’m seriously craving some more of that pork–damn, it was really that good.
For those of you interested in a weekend cooking adventure, here’s the recipe:
1 medium sized butternut squash (about 2lbs), halved lengthwise and seeded
1 teaspoon butter
4 cups finely chopped leek (about 6 large)
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool. Scoop out pulp and mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat pan with cooking spray. Melt butter in pan. Add leek then cover and cook 20 minutes or until tender, stirring once (I suggest lowering the heat and stirring more frequently to avoid burning). Reduce heat to medium-low and then uncover and cook 10 mins or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Let cool for while preparing the next portion.
Combine sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, eggs, and yolk in a large bowl and then whisk until mixed. Add squash, leek then stir until well combined. Divide the squash mixture evenly among six 6oz ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray. Place ramekins in a 13×9″ baking pan and add hot water to pan to a depth of 1″. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 325° for 25 mins. Uncover and cook an additional 15 mins or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese over each ramekin.
Preheat broiler and then broil the gratin for 2 mins or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
My cooking time was much longer and I don’t own broiler safe ramekins so I had to improvise on the cheese. Otherwise it was still pretty tasty and a recipe I recommend if you’re looking for a nice seasonal dish using fresh ingredients.
Do you have any fall recipes that you wish to share? If so, please do and let us know what to expect!