This is a beautiful vegetarian entree or holiday side dish—layers of thinly sliced squash and potatoes in a luscious cream sauce, with a crunchy walnut topping.

Serves: 9


  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lb.), peeled
  • 2 potatoes, peeled
  • 6 Tbl parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbl melted butter



  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch (2-qt.) glass or ceramic baking dish.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibers.
  3. Slice the squash and potatoes about 1/8 inch thick (use a mandoline if you have one).
  4. Line the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of squash (overlapping slightly). Season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle with a little of the Parmesan, and drizzle with a little of the cream.
  5. Cover the squash layer with a layer of potato slices, season with salt, pepper, cheese, and cream.
  6. Repeat the layers with the remaining squash and potatoes until the baking dish is full, ending with a top layer of squash, seasoned and topped with any remaining cheese and cream. (You may have extra squash.)
  7. Press down lightly to distribute the cream and compact the layers. The last layer of squash should be just sitting in the cream, but not covered by it.
  8. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the vegetables feel tender when poked with a thin, sharp knife (be sure to check the middle layer), about 1 hour and 10 min.
  9. Combine the walnuts, breadcrumbs and butter. Remove the gratin from the oven, sprinkle with the breadcrumb-nut mixture, and bake (uncovered) until the top is lightly browned, 5 to 10 min.
  10. Let sit in a warm place for 20 min. before serving so that liquids will set and tighten the gratin. Cut into 9 squares and serve.