Winter Squash Gratin

This baked squash dish is hearty enough to serve as a main dish with a green salad and a loaf of crusty bread. It is bright with herbs and tangy with parmesan cheese.
2 medium butternut squash peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices
1½ cups heavy cream
fresh  cracked black pepper
grated nutmeg
5 tbsp butter
3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked and lightly chopped
3 sprigs fresh sage, picked and lightly chopped
clove garlic peeled and chopped fine
2 tsp salt
½ cup grated parmesan or dry jack cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9×12 baking dish. Warm the cream and add the pepper and nutmeg. In a small pan, melt the butter, add the chopped herbs and garlic, and let them sizzle for 30 seconds until cooked but not browning. Drizzle ½ cup of the cream into the baking dish and begin layering the squash slices into the pan seasoning each layer with a sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of the herby melted butter, and ½ cup of the warm cream. Finish with a drizzle of the cream and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and aluminum foil, sealing the edges tightly. Bake about 45 minutes and test for doneness by uncovering the gratin and piercing the center squash slices with a small paring knife. If they are completely tender, leave the cover off and return the gratin to the oven for 15-20 minutes more until the top begins to caramelize and brown. If not tender, replace the cover and let the gratin cook for 15 minutes more and then uncover and continue browning. Let the gratin cool for 10 minutes before serving.