BUT­TER­NUT SQUASH CASSE­ROLE WITH AP­PLE AND LEEK

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - LIFE -

2 lb ( 1 kg) but­ter­nut squash

2 tsp ( 10 mL) olive oil

1 large leek, white and pale green parts only

2 tbsp ( 30 mL) un­salted but­ter

1 green ap­ple

1 large egg

1 cup ( 250 mL) freshly grated Parme­san cheese

1/2 cup ( 125 mL) panko crumbs

3 tbsp ( 45 mL) may­on­naise

1/2 tsp ( 2.5 mL) sea salt

1/2 tsp ( 2.5 mL) freshly ground pep­per

1/4 tsp ( 1 mL) freshly grated nut­meg or pinch dried Peel and cut squash into

1/ 2- inch ( 1 cm) cubes ( about 4 heap­ing cups/ 1.25 L). Place in a large pot, cover with wa­ter and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 min­utes or un­til just fork- ten­der. Drain and cool. Pre­heat oven to 350 F ( 180 C). Grease a 3- quart ( 3 L) bak­ing dish with the oil. Slice leek length­wise and cut into 1/ 2- inch ( 1 cm) pieces.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt but­ter and stir in leeks. Par­tially cover and cook gen­tly, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til soft but not brown, about eight min­utes. Slice ap­ple, peel on, into 1/ 2- inch ( 1 cm) cubes and add to the leeks. Cook for two min­utes, then re­move from heat and cool.

In a large bowl, beat to­gether the egg, 3/ 4 cup ( 180 mL) of the cheese, 1/ 4 cup ( 60 mL) of the panko crumbs, the may­on­naise, salt, pep­per and nut­meg. Gen­tly fold in the squash cubes and the leek- ap­ple mix­ture. Trans­fer mix­ture to the pre­pared bak­ing dish.

In a small bowl, stir to­gether the re­main­ing 1/ 4 cup ( 60 mL) cheese and 1/ 4 cup ( 60 mL) crumbs. Sprin­kle over the casse­role. Bake in pre­heated oven for 45 to 50 min­utes, un­til golden. Serve hot.

Serves: 6

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