Butternut Squash Gratin with Creamed Spinach
- ACTIVE: 50 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
Daniel Boulud's individual gratins will be neatest if you use squash with long, even necks.
- Two 2-pound butternut squash, necks only, peeled and each cut crosswise into sixteen 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- One 10-ounce bag cleaned spinach, stemmed and rinsed
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Arrange the squash rounds on 2 rimmed baking sheets and brush with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes, or until barely tender. Increase the oven temperature to 475°.
- Meanwhile, set a medium saucepan over moderately high heat. Add the spinach, 1 handful at a time, and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted. Drain the spinach, squeeze dry and coarsely chop.
- In the same saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil, then simmer over low heat until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and simmer, stirring occasionally, until creamy, but not runny. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a plate and let cool.
- Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, stir the crème fraèche into the Parmesan. Spread the Parmesan cream on 8 squash rounds. Arrange 8 of the remaining rounds in the baking dish. Spoon a scant tablespoon of the creamed spinach over each round. Repeat this layering 2 more times and top with the rounds spread with Parmesan cream.
- Cover the gratins with foil and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Uncover and broil the gratins for 2 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to plates and serve.