Back on the blog again baby -or- Butternut squash gratin with Ginger parsnip puree

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Oh dear. Its been awhile.

A lot has happened since I last wrote. Unfortunately, not very much from the list I last wrote about. Would any of you notice if I went back and edited it to say things like graduate a quarter earlier than I was planning, move to California, or search for gainful employment? Oh, and become engaged to Mr. Man. :) Cause that is a list I totally would have rocked.

So, that is essentially what I have been up to lately. I will write about them more as time goes on.

I am excited to be getting this first post written to end the long silence I have had. The longer I went without writing, the harder it was to sit down and write about all the things that have happened and the meals that have accompanied those events. Overwhelming.

Luckily, I have some really great friends and family who keep telling me to get my bum back on the internets. So here I am. And of course I have a hearty winter recipe for you. Any excuse to turn on the oven is always welcome in my kitchen. And so are you (us sharing a mile and all).

Butternut Squash Gratin and Ginger Parsnip Puree
serves 4

adapted from
Vegetarian Food for Friends

This recipe is perfectly paired. Individually the gratin and the puree are just okay. Together, on the same fork both are elevated to party in your mouth status. That is what I love about this book. Many of the recipes are listed with side dishes that pair perfectly and make you look like a flavor genius to your guests. This recipe in particular also deserves a fresh, crunchy salad alongside it to break up the heaviness of the winter foods.

For the gratin:

4 lbs. butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled seeded and cut into large chunks
1 Tbs. olive oil

4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

12 oz. corn (drained if canned, thawed if frozen, not on the cob, if fresh and if you can get fresh corn in the dead of winter)

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 cloves garlic, grated on a micro-plane (or chopped)

leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper to taste

For the gratin topping:

3 cups bread crumbs

4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

3 Tbs. olive oil

For the ginger parsnip puree:

1.5 lbs parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. powdered ginger (make it 1.5 tsp if you want a more gingery taste rather than essence of ginger)

1 1/4 cups heavy cream (I think that this recipe would work fine with even fat free milk...just add less to begin with and add as you see fit to get the right consistency of the puree. I happened to have some from thanksgiving so I went for the recommended dosage of fat. Sorry about all the ingredient notes in this post. Stopping now.)

salt and pepper (use white pepper if you have it. Okay, now I'm really done)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put all of the ingredients for the gratin (not including the gratin topping ingredients) into an ovenproof glass baking dish and mix together. In a separate bowl stir together the ingredients for the gratin topping then pour it over the gratin. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the crumb topping is a golden brown.

While this dish is baking start to prepare the ginger parsnip puree. Put the chopped parsnips, salt, white pepper (or regular will work too, I just like the way white pepper doesn't show in this dish), and ginger on a baking dish and mix together. Make sure all the parsnips are in a single layer and bake them in the same 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes.

When the parsnips are done transfer them to a food processor along with the cream and blend until smooth. Adjust to taste with the salt and pepper. Put the puree in a covered ovenproof dish and put it back in the oven for up to 20 minutes. I left mine in for this long and it started to brown along the edges and gave it a bit more of a deeper, developed taste.


  1. Oh, I wish I were there to eat your food! My oven doesn't work. I'm having a year without baking. What a horror!


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