Make Ahead


October 27, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I have this recipe in my files from so long ago that I no longer recall whether it was inspired by another recipe or I concocted it myself. What I do know is that I have made it my own. The sweet squash and earthy celery root are great complements, thyme keeps the squash on the savory side, and the gratin is colorful and full of flavor. For a leaner dish, substitute half-and-half, whole milk, or even 2% milk for the cream. - JSCooks —JSCooks

Test Kitchen Notes

The combination of butternut squash and celery root is a wonderful match -- not to mention a beautiful color contrast. A touch of thyme and onion complete this beautiful gratin. - Stephanie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Butter or pan spray, for pan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 butternut squash, approx. 1-1/2 pounds, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and seeded
  • 1 celery root, 3/4 to 1 pound, peeled and cut into quarters
  • Leaves pulled from several branches of thyme
  • 1/2 large red onion, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 2 slices firm white bread, slightly stale, processed into coarse crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino, asiago, or parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Butter or spray a 1-1/2 quart gratin dish.
  2. Cut the flesh from the neck of the butternut squash into 1/8-inch-thick half-moons. Cut the seeded "bowls" into 1/8-inch-thick slices and set aside separately from the half-moons.
  3. Cut the celery root quarters into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
  4. Layer the vegetables in the prepared pan, sprinkling each layer lightly with salt and pepper, as follows: Make a single layer of squash half-moons in the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of celeriac, using about half of it. Scatter about 2/3 of the onion slices and about half of the thyme over the celeriac. Make another layer using the odd-shaped squash pieces and the remaining celeriac. Make a final, neater layer of overlapping squash half moons, then scatter the remaining onions and thyme over the top. Dot the butter over the top and pour the cream evenly over everything.
  5. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the vegetables are quite tender but not mushy when pierced with a sharp knife, about 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and sprinkle the walnuts over the top, then the bread crumbs, and finally the cheese. Return the dish to the oven, uncovered, until the top is golden and most of liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes longer.
  7. To further brown the top, if desired, place the dish under the broiler for a few moments, taking care not to burn the gratin. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley over the top of the gratin just before serving, or sprinkle parsley over individual servings.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephanie Bourgeois
    Stephanie Bourgeois
  • Food52
  • AntoniaJames
  • JSCooks

8 Reviews

Stephanie B. November 4, 2010
Oh no! I actually found that the higher amount of butter was a lot, but still quite edible. But maybe that just the butter lover in me…
JSCooks November 7, 2010
Recipes are best when you customize them to your own taste. I say enjoy it the way you like it! Then again, if you have health concerns or dietary preferences that point toward the lesser amount of butter, it's good to know that it still works. I've made it with as little as 1 T. and used 2% milk and it was still delicious. To each her/his own!
Food52 November 4, 2010
Ed. note: We've updated the butter amount in the ingredients list. Cheers!
JSCooks November 7, 2010
Thanks so much for making the adjustment!
Food52 November 10, 2010
In addition, we've also just made all recipes editable (except for those that were finalists in a contest), so feel free to edit at will and let us know if you run into any trouble. Thanks!
AntoniaJames November 4, 2010
Love it! Definitely want to make this one soon. Great recipe. And thanks for clarifying the butter amount. I cannot imagine using that much, or even close to it! ;o)
JSCooks November 7, 2010
Thanks, AntoniaJames. Then again...feel free to up the butter from 2 T to whatever seems appropriately indulgent to you!
JSCooks November 4, 2010
Stephanie, thank you for your test and kind comments. I wondered why you would cut back on the 2 tablespoons of butter and noticed that, when changing it from 1 to 2 tablespoons, I accidentally left the 1, turning 2 into 12!! It's too late for me to edit, but if someone over there is able that would be great. Mon dieu -- with 12 T the gratin would be swimming in butter!!