This is like the perfect fall gratin! So full of delicious fall flavors. I typically make it with butternut squash, but this past time (when I took that picture) I had half a kabocha squash in my fridge and I am so glad I used that! Every time I have kabocha squash I remind myself i am fairly certain that is my favorite squash! Just butternut is typically much easier to find, and still very good. Between the kale, the squash, the sage, the cheese, this dish is so full of flavor! The cheese, parmesan is a good safe default, but I like to change it up all the time, I think any flavorful hard cheese would be good, or a blend. Just now I decided I want to try this with some dubliner cheese sometimes, that’s one of my favorite cheeses and I think the flavor would go perfect in this dish!
This is a great side dish for so many meals, or a great light meal on it’s own. Last time I served it with some Italian sausage links and the two went so well together for a perfect fall dinner. Then I couldn’t wait to gobble up the leftovers for my lunch the next day 🙂 Eating it with the sausage too I was thinking it would be great to add a layer of cooked ground sausage to it for a one dish casserole meal. I also think this would be an amazing side dish to a Thanksgiving meal, something a little different from the traditional dishes, but still very very fitting.
Winter Squash and Kale Au Gratin
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 bunch Kale, roughly chopped
Approx. 4 cups Squash, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced (my favorite is Kabocha, but Butternut and Pumpkin both work really well too)
1 cup Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp Flour
1 tsp Sage
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 1/2 cups Shredded Parmesan, divided (or any blend of similar like cheese, last time I used a blend from Trader Joe’s that included Parmesan, Asiago, and Provolone and it came out very good!)
1 cup Panko
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish and set aside.
Melt butter in large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions, season lightly with salt and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and kale, cover with lid and cook until kale starts to wilt, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile in small bowl combine whipping cream, flour, spices, and 1/2 cup cheese. Set aside.
In prepared pan layer half the squash and season lightly with salt, then half the kale mixture, then carefully spoon half the cream mixture on top. Repeat layers with remaining squash, kale mixture, and cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes. While that bakes in a small bowl mix remaining 1 cup cheese with 1 cup panko and set aside. After 30-40 minutes remove foil, top with cheese and panko mixture, turn heat up to 425 and bake for 10 more minutes until golden brown and crispy on top.