Besides pumpkin pie, which I love, I’ve only been eating squash for about two years. I still can’t abide acorn squash for some reason, but I really have made great strides in my squash consumption. But with over 10 of them currently on hand it’s been difficult to make a dent in them.
So when I ran across this recipe yesterday for a squash and goat cheese gratin, I was actually excited to make it. I decided on Berkshire pork chops to go with it, which I decided to serve smothered (More about the pork chops in a later post). The goat cheese is perfect for cutting the fatty richness of the smothered pork and the caramelized, concentrated sweetness of the squash.
Trust me. This is really yummy.
Winter Squash and Goat Cheese Gratin
Adapted from The Best American Recipes 1999
2 winter squash (Enough to produce 8-10 cups of cubed squash)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. firmed packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. ancho chile powder
8 fresh sage leaves, cut into slivers
salt & fresh ground black pepper
10 oz. fresh goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 and set a rack on the middle level. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Peel and seed the squash and cut flesh into about 1-inch cubes.
Place the cubes in a large bowl, drizzle with the oil and toss to thoroughly coat. Add a little more oil if necessary, to make sure squash is well coated. Mix the brown sugar, chile powder and sage leaves in a small bowl and toss them with the squash cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the squash to the baking sheet, making sure they’re in a single layer. Roast about 20 minutes and then check them (Mine were close to done at this point but still a little “wet”). Stir them up and return to the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are tender and lightly browned (At this point most of the moisture had evaporated and they were sizzling nicely in the olive oil). Remove from oven and let cool o the baking sheet for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the squash to a baking dish. Crumble the goat cheese over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned. Let rest for about 5 minutes, and serve.