This potato gratin in an acorn squash will look so attractive on a holiday table. Huge advantage of this dish is that everything could be prepared in advance: potato puree, potato stuffing, acorn squash halves. Keep all prepared ingredients in a refrigerator for a day or so. Take them from the fridge one hour prior to cooking, then cook according to the recipe. In less an hour this excellent side dish (or vegetarian meal) will be ready to be served. Have your own half-squash, or share it with the loved ones cutting stuffed acorn in boats.
Think what would you like to combine with mashed potatoes: sautéed onion, garlic, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, cream cheese, sharp cheese, corn and peas, green onion, diced jalapeno pepper, spices and herbs, or turkey leftovers – all these additions will make this gratin more flavorful and heavenly tasty.
for 2 acorn squash halves
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 ½ cup mashed potatoes
- 1 smal onion, finelly chopped
- ½ tsp gtanulated garlic (or garlic powder)
- Dash of ground nutmeg (optional)
- Ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking onions
- 2 tbsp grated cheese (parmigiano reggiano, pecorino romano or other hard or semi-hard cheese) (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp bread crumbs, mixed with 1 tbsp olive oil
Make the potato puree as you normally do.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook for 7-10 minutes until golden brown.
Add the onions to mashed potatoes. Stir.
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C).
Wash acorn squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Cut off a tiny piece of “bottom” of the halves so the squash can stand on a counter (or cutting board).
Place the halves on a baking sheet (lined with foil if you wish) or baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg and granulated garlic (or garlic powder).
Bake for about 20 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 375 F (190 C).
Fill the squash halves with potato mixture, top with bread crumbs and/or cheese, and continue baking for 20-25 minutes more. (If you use a different kind of chees, such as asiago, comte, cheddar, gruyere, edam, emmental, fontina, jarlsberg or manchego, sprinkle them 10 minutes later).
Serve hot sprinkled with fresh herbs to your taste (chives, parsley, green onion, basil, cilantro, dill).
You can substitute sweet potato for white potato.
Cook with pleasure!