In search of the perfect autumn recipe? Stop looking then, you just found it! Last weekend Dan and I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up our Halloween pumpkins, but as usual we ended up spending a lot of time inside the store grabbing a bunch of stuff that we really didn’t need (like Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix –> so good!). Anyways, we were walking through the aisles when we saw a little stand with some samples of their Butternut Squash & Creamed Spinach Gratin. I don’t know if it was the lack of breakfast that morning or what, but that recipe hit the spot. It was so delicious, and last night we decided to look up the ingredients and make it ourselves. Definitely a 10 out of 10! This recipe needs to be in your life, especially if you love vegetarian friendly recipes.
- 3 Ibs fresh spinach, or 3 (10-ounce) packages frozen leaf spinach, thawed
- 3-5 tablespoons vegetable/olive oil for greasing pan
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic gloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 Ibs butternut squash, peeled, quartered, and seeded
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
1. Cut squash to separate bulb section from solid neck section, then cut pieces lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Cutting butternut squash can be difficult because the squash is dense and hard, so be careful with your fingers. We put the squash in the microwave for 5 minutes to make the process easier. Also, chop a medium onion and a few gloves of garlic.
2. Bring 2 inches water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Add spinach, a few handfuls at a time, and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Squeeze cooked spinach to remove excess water, try to get it dry.
3. Add 3 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium low heat, then cook onion and garlic, stirring, until softened. We also like to cook the squash a little bit so it gets extra soft, but you might skip this step if you like. Add onion mixture to spinach along with salt, black pepper, nutmeg and heavy cream, stir to combine.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F while you’re preparing squash and spinach mixture. You can layer squash and spinach in baking dish using the same technique as lasagna, but in our case, we mixed all the ingredients together, placed them in the baking dish, and served the finished product over white rice. Add your cheese selection to the mix and sprinkle top layer with Parmesan grated cheese.
5. Bake until squash is tender and filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, cook white rice to serve with the Butternut Squash & Creamed Spinach Gratin.