Serving a turkey-free Thanksgiving this year?
The cannellini beans in this gratin take the dish from a crowd-pleasing side into a vegetarian main worthy of Thanksgiving dinner. The pieces of bread on top get crispy in the oven, and the sweet butternut pairs wonderfully with the lemon and herb filling.
Try experimenting with other squashes if you find them in the store, as they all cook in roughly the same amount of time. If you are vegan, or if you just fancy changing this up, you can add a handful of chopped almonds in place of the cheese. Author Anna Jones says you don’t have to peel the squash here, but feel free to do so, or use the pre-peeled and cut squash that you can now buy in the store.
Butternut and Cannellini Gratin
3 red onions
2 lb. butternut or other orange-fleshed squash
A few sprigs of rosemary
2 (14-oz.) cans of cannellini beans (or 2 3/4 cups home-cooked beans)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups hot vegetable stock
3 thick slices of good sourdough or whole wheat bread
5 oz. Gruyère cheese
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coarsely slice the onions. Put a wide, shallow, ovenproof pan over medium heat, add a good glug of olive oil and fry the onions until soft and sweet.
Cut the squash into large dice, discarding the seeds (there is no need to peel), then add to the softened onions with the leaves from the rosemary sprigs and continue cooking until the squash has colored a little at the edges and is starting to soften; this will take about 10 minutes.
Take off the heat and add the drained cannellini beans, then season with salt and pepper and squeeze the juice of the lemon over.
Pour the stock over, then tear the bread over the top. Grate the Gruyère over or sprinkle over some chopped almonds, if you like. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the stock is bubbling around the edges. Serves 6.
— From “A Modern Way to Cook: 150+ Vegetarian Recipes for Quick, Flavor-Packed Meals” by Anna Jones (Ten Speed, $35)]]