Squash and Kale Gratin: A Thanksgiving side – or main course

Thanksgiving is almost here. This recipe can serve both as a vegetarian main dish or as a side for meat eaters, and is pretty simple to put together once you roast the squash and steam the kale.

First, chop up the squash and roast it:

roasting the squash

Here are directions for roasting squash:

Basic Roasted Butternut Squash

This makes a nice side dish, many options in this basic recipe.

Ingredients:

Butternut or other soft-skinned winter squash

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Seasonings:

Paprika or curry powder (optional)

Maple syrup or honey (optional)

Fresh herbs – parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary (optional)

Parmesan cheese (optional)

Toasted nuts (for optional garnish).

Sautéed onions or shallots, optional

 

Directions:

Wash squash (peeling optional). Cut in half. Remove seeds and membranes. Dice into 3/4 – 1″ cubes.

In large bowl, toss squash with salt and pepper to coat (if using paprika or curry powder, do it here). Drizzle with olive oil (and honey or maple syrup, if you want a sweet squash) and stir to coat. Place in single layer in baking pan, and roast about 20 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs, and garnish with toasted nuts (if using) and serve. Or sprinkle with a little grated sharp cheese (like Parmesan), then return to the oven for 2 – 4 minutes to melt the cheese.

You can also cook some onions or shallots in butter to caramelize, and combine with roasted squash in the serving bowl.

While the squash roasts, steam the kale and beat the eggs.

Beating the eggs

Now you’re ready to put it all together:

 

 

 

 

 

 

squash and kale gratin: ready to eat!

squash and kale gratin: ready to eat!

Here’s the recipe:

Squash and Kale Gratin

This is a good vegetarian main dish.

Ingredients:

1 large Butternut squash (about 6 – 8 cups, diced

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

2 Tablespoons olive oil

 

1 pound kale

1 onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon butter or oil

1 apple, optional

4 eggs

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°.

Wash squash (peeling optional). Cut in half. Remove seeds and membranes. Dice into 3/4 – 1″ cubes.

In large bowl, toss squash with salt, pepper and paprika to coat. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat. Place in single layer in baking pan, and roast about 20 minutes, until fork tender.

While squash roasts, wash and steam the kale. Cool, drain, and chop. Set aside.

Melt butter in skillet. Peel and dice the onion, and add. Sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until soft and beginning to caramelize. Peel and mince the garlic, add, and cook another 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In medium bowl, beat eggs with mayonnaise. Stir in Cheddar cheese and chopped kale.

To assemble, place cubed, roasted squash in a single layer in the bottom of an oiled or buttered 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Peel, core the apple. Slice thinly over squash. Spread onions and garlic evenly over apples. Top with kale mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375° 15 – 20 minutes, then at 350° another 20 – 30 minutes until eggs are set and top is nicely browned.

Serves 6 – 8 as a main dish, more as a side.

 

Here it is on a plate:

ready to eat - with potatoes

ready to eat – with potatoes

 

 

 

Many hands make light work

Last night I was one of several individuals who got together to prepare 25o lbs. of Butternut Squash for the turkey dinner sponsored by the  First United Methodist Church in Saranac Lake on Election Day. Yes, it’s still a ways to election day, but the squash can be cooked in advance and frozen.

Here’s just some of the squash that had to be prepared:

Mountains of squash!

First, it had to be cut open, seeds scraped out,  and peeled:

Squash cut Peeling squash

 

 

 

 

 

cutting squash

 

 

 

Putting cut squash into bowl

 It had to be cut up:

 

 

 

 

and cooked…

 

 

draining sqash

 

 

 

then cooled, and mashed

 

 

 

 

mashing the squash

Then the squash was put in bags and frozen until needed for the big Election Day dinner.

It was a lot of work, but with lots of folks helping it got done pretty quick!

There were many bags of waste – peeings and innards / sees – which will hopefully go to a guy who can feed them to his pigs, or be composted.