On dreary rainy weekends during the fall and winter, I stay indoors and putter in the kitchen. I want the oven on for additional warmth, and I often get hungry for a crusty Parmesan-topped vegetable gratin. This humble dish, with multiple layers of potato, butternut squash, and parsley root, is scented with garden herbs—whatever mixture pleases you—and baked with just enough cream and Parmesan to add richness. The parsley root adds a subtle, rustic earthiness to the gratin. I prefer to buy a small butternut squash, but it’s sometimes hard to find one. You’ll most likely end up with a bigger squash than you need for this gratin. Use the top portion that does not contain the seeds for this dish, and cube the remainder for a quick sauté on another night.
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