Butternut squash shines in this savory fall recipe for Butternut Squash au Gratin with Wild Mushrooms and Crispy Bacon. The mashed butternut is blended with earthy wild mushrooms and bits of bacon to balance the squash's sweetness.
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add green onions; sauté 30 seconds. Add 6 cups squash; sauté 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, 15 minutes or until tender. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Place squash mixture in a large bowl; mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Add chanterelles, shiitakes, and sage to drippings; sauté 8 minutes or until mushrooms are browned. Add stock; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add mushroom mixture, remaining 2 cups diced squash, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, ricotta cheese, and black pepper to mashed squash mixture, stirring to combine. Spoon squash mixture into a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil; bake at 350° for 1 hour. Remove pan from oven; discard foil.
Preheat broiler to high.
Combine bacon, remaining 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, and oyster mushrooms in a bowl; sprinkle over gratin. Broil 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Made as a pre-test for possible new Thanksgiving side, so subbed very thinly sliced regular mushrooms for the shiitake, chanterelle, oyster. Prepped in the morning to recipe, stopping just before putting mixture into oven pan. That made it super-easy to finish baking/broiling before dinner. Think this is a great alternative if you'd like to serve a savory rather than a sweet squash with your turkey. The regular mushrooms were fine, but will probably use the recommended for holiday dinner. (served with CL's pork with whisky-cumberland sauce)
Fabulous taste but a lot of time prepping. Next time I won't finely dice the squash as it seems unnecessary and too time consuming. I did not use the green onions, instead minced white. I agree with the other review on eliminating the oyster mushrooms on top. Next time I'll use that amount of chanterelle or shiitake in the mix. It would be excellent for company. It was great left over also.
As the other reviewers mentioned, this is a very time intensive recipe. I think there are some shortcuts that could be put in place such as buying pre-chunked squash or cutting off the top of the squash and only dicing that part, roast the rest of it and skip the first step of sauteing the squash with the onions. I think you could also get away with not using the oyster mushrooms on top- just the Parmesan and bacon. This would make a very hearty vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish.
I thought the dish was outstanding! I agree that the dish is time intensive - but I'd make this again for a special occasion in the fall. I don't typically add mushrooms to my fall squash dishes but this recipe does a great job of balancing the flavors. I modified the recipe slightly - adding truffle cheese on top, increasing the bacon to 4 slides (applewood smoked), and adding a dash of truffle oil when I sauteed the mushrooms. Delicious :)