Home 5 Recipes to Help You Host a Very Chapel Hill Thanksgiving Acorn Squash Gratin

Acorn Squash Gratin

By Claudia Sanders, Good Intentions Culinary Services

One acorn squash
Olive oil, salt and pepper
1 whole head of garlic Butter
4 Tbsp. pine nuts, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup good quality finely grated Parmesan, divided
1 scant cup panko (can substitute gluten-free panko)

Heat oven to 375 F. // Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds, sprinkle cut sides with salt, pepper and olive oil. // Cut off the top one-eighth of the head of garlic, leaving skin on. Place acorn squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet covered with foil and “hide” the garlic under one of the halves. // Bake until squash gives when pressed (about 30 to 40 minutes). Remove from oven and turn over, then let cool. // Once cool enough to work with, scoop the flesh from the squash into a bowl, then squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl and add a big pat of butter (it is Thanksgiving after all) and mash with a potato masher until smooth. // Add salt and pepper to taste along with half the Parmesan and some finely chopped pine nuts. // Place in a greased casserole dish and spread evenly. (At this point, this dish can be covered and put in fridge for a day or two. Bring to room temperature before placing in oven for final cooking.) // Mix the panko, remaining Parmesan and pine nuts with more salt and pepper and distribute evenly over squash mixture. // Place in 350 F oven covered for 15 minutes (or until just bubbling), then remove cover and let brown on top another 10 minutes (put under low broil but don’t let it burn).