Butternut Squash & Wild Mushroom Gratin
Here’s a delicious butternut squash vegetarian main dish that’s so comforting and incredibly tasty! This is a great one to make ahead, ready for the oven once you’re ready to eat. It’ll come out of the oven deliciously golden, bubbling and sizzling; perfect for a cold autumn evening!
- 1 butternut squash, cut into thin 1cm rounds
- Rapeseed oil for roasting
- 1tbsp black garlic paste www.blackgarlic.co.uk or black olive tapenade (optional)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300g mixed wild mushrooms; ideally fresh (otherwise frozen), sliced
- 150g fresh chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced2 tbsp creme fraiche
- 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp crème fraîche
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bag baby leaf fresh spinach
- Olive oil for drizzlingFor the Béchamel
- 1 tbsp flour (any for GF variation)
- 500ml of milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- Parmesan to sprinkle on top
Here’s how to make this delicious butternut squash dish….
In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash discs in a little rapeseed oil. Arrange in a single layer on a lined baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20mins, until slightly golden.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and combine with the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms; if using frozen, start with the fresh mushrooms and then add the frozen mushrooms after 2 mins. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until they are slightly crispy but not burnt. Now add the chopped garlic; toss for a further 1-2mins until the aromas are released. Add the creme fraiche, stir through and then turn off the heat. Set aside.
Once the butternut squash is ready, start to assemble the dish. Begin with a drizzle of olive oil and then arrange a single layer of butternut squash on top. If using, dot a little black garlic paste over the squash slices. Now top with the mushroom mixture, followed by the fresh spinach and the halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with a little olive oil before arranging the remaining butternut squash on top.
Now make the bechamel sauce; in a saucepan melt the butter before adding the flour. Mix to a thick paste over a low heat to cook it through slightly; then add the milk little by little, whisking after each addition. Keep stirring continuously for around 10-12mins until it has thickened to a smooth and creamy white sauce. Season to taste. Now pour over the butternut squash and sprinkle a dusting of parmesan cheese on top.
Place in a hot oven for around 40mins or until it’s golden and bubbling. Allow to rest for 5mins before serving.
With it’s deep orange colour, Butternut squash is a good source of antioxidants including beta-carotene, the precursor the body needs to make vitamin A, as well as good sources of vitamin C and E. These are all important nutrients that support your immune system. It is also a rich source of potassium and calcium, as well as B vitamins. A nutritional powerhouse, this versatile vegetable is a nutritious carbohydrate alternative to many meals, providing good fibre for a more slow-releasing meal. READ MORE