Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Fall! Butternut Squash Casserole

Fall is here and that means it is time for winter squash! If you weren't following last year, I am on a small-ish mission to get Berkeley hooked on different squashes. We started with the easy ones like zucchini and other summer squashes, then worked on the heartier winter varieties. And the trend continues.

This recipe has butternut squash, healthy leafy greens and is packed with vitamins. It is also really easy to make and feeds a small army!

Butternut Squash Casserole

  • 3 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, trimmed, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup whole or low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, toasted
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or pecans, toasted
  • 2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 to 6 large handfuls of fresh spinach, washed
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking dish or 4-quart casserole.
  2. Place 3 quarts water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the squash to the water, return to a boil, and cook for 6 minutes. Add the spinach to the same water during the last minute of boiling. Drain it and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in the stockpot and add the oil. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent and limp, about 8 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Add the warm squash and the buttermilk, eggs, thyme, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds and 1 1/3 cups cheese. Blend with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining pumpkin seeds and cheese. Bake 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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