Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 36: Late Autumn Vegetable Casserole

It's been such a busy week.  Monday was Valentine's Day, Tuesday my book club met, and tonight I'm going to a surprise birthday party.  I skipped making dinner Tuesday, so I wanted to make sure to leave the boys something to eat tonight.

Late Autumn Vegetable Casserole from A Great American Cook looked like a tasty, fairly quick dinner to make.  Unfortunately I had to leave before Paul came home, and he was already in bed by the time I got back so I haven't had a chance to ask him how he liked it.  It sure smelled good!

The vegetables totally filled the pot as it was cooking, and even though they cooked down in the oven there was still a big pot of food for us to eat!  I'm going to warm some up for lunch today.

Update:   Paul called this morning, and I asked how he liked the casserole (expecting him to say it was good like he always does), and he said, well...I liked everything else you've made from this book, and I managed to eat a whole bowl, but I didn't like it.  After heating some up for breakfast I have to say I totally agree with my husband, AND I commend him on eating a whole bowl of this stuff -- I barely managed three spoonfuls!  Hopefully I make it up to him with tonight's dinner!

Late-Autumn Vegetable Casserole
A Great American Cook
Yield:  6 to 8 hearty side dish, or 4 to 6 main dish servings

3 pounds Hubbard or butternut squash
3 tbsp olive oil, plus additional for rubbing the squash
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound white button mushrooms
2 medium onions
6 garlic cloves
4 large leeks
2 small celery roots
1 cup assorted fresh herb leaves, such as sage, flat leaf parsley, rosemary, chives, and basil
3 drained canned plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

     Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
     Split the squash lengthwise in half and remove the strings and seeds.  Rub the flesh with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place the squash on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender.  Set aside to cool slightly.  Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
     Meanwhile, clean and chop the mushrooms.  Chop the onions.  Smash the garlic.  Trim the leeks, split lengthwise, and wash them well, then chop.  Peel and chop the celery root.  Chop the tomatoes.  Chop the herbs.
    Heat the 3tbsp olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, leeks, and celery root and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until tender.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.  Scoop out the squash in tablespoon sized chunks and add to the casserole.  Add the tomatoes and herbs and season with salt and pepper.
     Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until deep golden brown on top and bubbly.  Serve.

Tonight:  Soupe Au Pistou, and Cottage Cheese Bread!

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