Suzen and I are always on the lookout for new side dishes for Thanksgiving and other fall feasts. We want dishes that the right “autumnal” notes. Here late fall corn and wonderful in-season butternut squash are combined into a dish that just might rival traditional stuffing. This is not quite a bread pudding, for it contains no eggs. It is inherently savory, with the corn, squash, plus cheese and chives.
A recipe like this offers you the chance for experimentation. You can change up the herb mix and even add some dashes of fall spices: literally, just a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon will give you spikes of flavor that everyone will notice and appreciate. More cheese, different cheese — you have myriad options here, using old favorites or trying new temptations from the cheese case at your supermarket.
This recipe and photo come from the lovely Fireside Feasts & Snow Day Treats by Ryland Peters & Small. I’ve had several posts from this book and I suggest you find a copy for yourself so you can enjoy all the wonderful dishes presented inside its covers.
Butternut Squash, Corn and Bread Bake with Cheese and Chives
Yield: serves 4-6
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 cup single/light cream
- 3 eggs, beaten
- A small bunch of chives, snipped
- Leaves from a small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 baguette, neatly cut into ⅛-inch slices
- 2 cups (sweet) corn kernels, canned or frozen
- About 1 pound 2 ounces peeled and sliced butternut squash
- 1 cup grated mature/sharp Cheddar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grease a 12 X 8 inch baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Season lightly and set aside.
Combine the milk, cream and eggs in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Add the chives and parsley, mix well and set aside.
Arrange half the baguette slices in the prepared baking dish in a single layer; you may need to tear some to cover all the space. Put half of the onion slices on top, then scatter over half of the corn. Arrange half of the squash slices evenly on top and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat one more time (bread, onion, corn, squash, cheese). Stir the milk mixture and pour it evenly all over the pudding.
Cover tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for about 30-40 minutes, until golden. Serve immediately.
Photo Credit: Ryland Peters & Small