For this side dish, we turned to Patrick Fegan, executive chef of Tavern Americana and in Scottsdale, Arizona. He shared a recipe for a butternut squash gratin that capitalizes on fall flavors and colors, and straddles the line between variety and compatibility.
“If you are not careful with the side dishes, Thanksgiving can be too much on the beige side,” he said. “The side dishes give the meal its personality, and the fall harvest offers so many different opportunities for warm, savory flavors.”
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more to grease baking dish
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cut in 1/8-inch slices
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Miniature marshmallows (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a large baking dish. Arrange sliced squash in the baking dish; set aside.
Heat a large pot or saute pan over medium-high and add 2 tablespoons butter. When butter melts, add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4-6 minutes, until soft and caramel in color. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper.
Add chicken stock or broth and bring to a boil. Carefully pour the stock or broth and onions over the squash in the baking dish.
Bake about 35 minutes, until the squash is tender and the top of the gratin is caramelized. Pour the heavy cream evenly over the squash and return to oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. If desired, top with mini marshmallows and brown in oven.
Nutrition information: Per serving (based on 4 servings, without marshmallows): 278 calories, 17 g fat, 56 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 1,809 mg sodium, 54 percent calories from fat.
Time-saving tip: Butternut squash gratin can be made in advance, and easily transported and reheated.