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Author Notes: Here's a perfect side dish for holiday gatherings, winter socializing, or simply for digging into on a cold night. The topping is arguably the best part, and a really great, gluten-free substitute for traditional bread crumbs. —Gena Hamshaw
For the gratin:
- 2 1/2 pounds cubed butternut squash
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups almond or soy milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons brown rice flour (alternatively, you can use 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder or cornstarch)
- black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 350° F and lightly oil a 9-inch square baking dish (or a 7- by 11-inch rectangular baking dish).
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the butternut squash. Boil for 15 minutes, or until all of the cubes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the squash and set it aside.
- Add the olive oil to a medium-sized sauce pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic. Swirl them around and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant but not burnt. Whisk in the almond or soy milk, lemon juice, and salt. Allow the milk to come to a low simmer. Whisk in the brown rice flour, one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. (Alternatively, add 1/4 cup hot water to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder and whisk thoroughly to create a slurry. Add the thickener to the hot milk, stirring it the whole time.)
- Stir the sauce constantly until it has thickened up (it should be about the texture of alfredo sauce). Add more salt and black pepper to taste. Whisk in the 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Remove the sauce from heat and set it aside.
- For the topping, place the almonds in a food processor and process until they resemble a coarse meal. Add the remaining topping ingredients and pulse to combine thoroughly. The mixture should be crumbly.
- Place 1/3 of the sauce at the bottom of your baking dish and top with half the squash. Top the squash layer with another 1/3 of the sauce. Cover the sauce with the remaining squash, and cover the squash with the remaining sauce. (In other words, the layers are: sauce, squash, sauce, squash, sauce.) Top it all with the almond topping. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the gratin is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!