Monday night’s Seder included a few traditional Passover dishes like brisket and matzo ball soup, but my family left the salad and vegetable course up to me. For our salad, I made a spinach and beet salad with goat cheese, pear, and walnuts.
For the vegetable course I decided to indulge a bit! My family doesn’t keep Kosher, so mixing dairy with meat didn’t pose a problem. I did a quick Google search of Passover vegetables and came across this recipe for potato and broccoli gratin. But potatoes just seemed…boring. And my mom happened to have two beautiful squash hanging out on the counter, so it was a no-brainer. I love this recipe because it takes something so simple (roasted squash and broccoli) and creates a completely new and exciting dish with just a few added steps.
2 large heads of broccoli, chopped into florets (don’t dispose of the stalks–they are delicious and should be treated like the rest of the broccoli)
2 acorn squash (we had 1 acorn squash and 1 turban squash…any combination will do!)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp of paprika
1 and 1/2 cup of low fat milk
1 tbsp of butter
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used 3/4 cup of sharp cheddar and 1/4 cup of Parmesan for a sharper and more intense flavor)
2 tsp of starch (I used potato starch, you could also sub corn starch or 1 tbsp of flour)
Olive oil, salt, pepper, Pam (or greasing spray), grated Parmesan for topping
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a vegetable peeler and a large kitchen knife, chop the squash in half and begin peeling off the skin. If the skin is too thick or difficult to peel you can also slice the squash into smaller crescents and use the knife to cut off the skin around the edges (you may lose a bit of meat though).
Once the squash has been peeled, scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh in the middle and chop into 1 inch cubes. Dump all of the cubes into a large Ziploc freezer bag and add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, paprika, minced garlic, and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Seal the bag and shake until the squash seems evenly coated. You can also do this step in a large mixing bowl with a spoon.
Spread the squash evenly on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until the squash has browned and crisped at the corners.
Remove from the oven and set aside. Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the meantime, place your chopped broccoli florets and stalks in a large sauce or saute pan (with a cover) and add water until it reaches an inch from the bottom of the pan.
Turn on medium heat, cover, and steam the broccoli for 5 minutes; it should be a brighter green when finished and will be somewhat softer but still firm. Drain the broccoli and set aside.
Using Pam or a bit of oil on your fingers, lightly grease a baking dish for the oven. I used a rectangular casserole dish. Combine the squash and broccoli in a large mixing bowl before pouring it into the oven-safe dish. Set aside.
In another saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add in the milk and grated cheese and whisk to combine and melt ingredients together.
Allow the mixture to heat until tiny bubbles form, add a few grinds of salt and pepper, then slowly add in the potato starch (I dissolved mine in about 1 tablespoon of water prior to adding it into the pan) and whisk aggressively to keep from clumping.
After 2-3 minutes of whisking the starch over heat, pour the sauce over the squash and broccoli mixture making sure to coat it evenly.
I topped mine with about 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese before popping it in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. When the top has firmed and the edges are turning golden brown, remove the gratin and serve!