It is getting close to this great holiday and here is one vegetable dish you can make the day before and bake the day of. It is a real showy presentation. Read on.
You will need:
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 5-6 lb. butternut squash
- 6 oz. Oka Cheese (see note below), remove rind and grate
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups whipping cream
- 3 fresh tarragon sprigs, leaves removed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and remove the top oven rack.
Butter well a 13 x 9 i nch glass baking dish. Stir the salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Now remove the necks of the squash and save for another time. Peel the squash and with a mandolin, thinly slice the squash. By overlapping the slices, arrange the first layer. Sprinkle a pinch of the salt and pepper over the layer and add one half of the cheese.
Add the second layer of squash, repeating the cheese layer, salt and pepper over the top.
In a small saucepan heat the cream and tarragon to a simmer stage. Strain to remove the tarragon and pour the cream all over the surface of the squash. Now this may sound a little strange, but cover with buttered tin foil that has a few holes poked in it to allow for steam to escape. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until tender. Remove the foil and let stand for 10-15 minutes. With a cookie cutter, cut out rounds or squares and transfer to plates. Use two for each serving.
Note: Oka cheese is aged to attain optimum ripeness and has been compared to an exquisite cheese in France called Port-Salut.
With any turkey or ham dinner this will be a highlight. Next time in the kitchen, pat yourself on the back and say “damn I did this”. You deserve it.