Spaghetti Squash Gratin
Topped with your favorite granola, ready to impress!
The most classic gratin is potato, of course, a casserole of creamy and cheesy sliced potato layers. But if you’re looking for a versatile holiday side that is a) as easy to prepare as it is delicious to eat, b) a little different from the usual fare, and c) even travels well, look no further than this triple threat, more-or-less three-ingredient dish. Spaghetti squash and your favorite cheese (think Gruyere, Gouda, Fontina…) are perfect companions to make something decadent without being heavy. Topped with your favorite granola, this is the sweet and savory side dish of the season.
Equipment: cutting board; chef's knife; rimmed sheet pans; parchment paper; box grater; dry measuring cup; measuring spoons; mixing bowl; spatula or spoon; casserole or baking pan; aluminum foil
1 large spaghetti squash
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1½ cups shredded Gruyere, Gouda, or Fontina
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 cups granola
"Granola is a fun way to bring a little sweet-and-savory flavor to this versatile side dish."
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Halve the spaghetti squash and remove the seeds. Place the squash halves on a sheet pan lightly greased with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt. Roast in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the squash halves are slightly wilted and effortlessly tender when pierced with a knife. Set aside.
ILOC tip: the squash can be roasted several days ahead of preparing the gratin. Refrigerate the flesh until ready to combine with the remaining ingredients and then assemble.
3. Butter a baking or gratin dish with the tablespoon of butter. Set aside.
4. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh from the skins using a fork. Place the squash in a bowl, and stir in the Parmesan, 1 cup of the grated cheese, and thyme. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mix well to combine.
5. Place the squash mixture in the buttered casserole, then spread and press into the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle the top with the remaining grated cheese. Cover with an even layer of granola, place foil loosely over the gratin and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Remove the foil for the last five minutes of baking. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 -12 servings.