Butternut Squash and Curried Kale Gratin, With Local Goat Cheese



Photo by Monica Schwartz
Sometimes you just want something comforting to eat and this recipe covers all the bases— it’s rich and delicious, but better for you because it’s fresh, local and full of great ingredients. This dish is perfect as a vegetarian entrée on its own, or can be served as a side.
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 People
Author: Lee Anne Wong


  • 2 Bowls
  • 13”x9” Baking Dish
  • Small Pot
  • Parchment Paper


  • 1½  lbs. Lacinato Kale (Washed and Dried, Cut Into 1/8” Ribbons)
  • 3 Tbs. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Local Honey
  • 1 Tbs. Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg (Freshly Grated)
  • 1 tsp. Hawaiian Sea Salt
  • 4 lbs. Butternut Or Kabocha Squash (Peeled And Seeded)
  • 1 Cup  Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
  • 8 oz. Fresh Local Goat Cheese
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Half And Half
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (Melted)
  • Cold Butter (For Greasing)
  • 1 Cup Lightly Toasted Panko Crumbs
  • Hawaiian Sea Salt And Fresh Black Pepper (To Taste)


Prepare Kale Marinade.

  • Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined, and pour over the kale.
  • Toss, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour, allowing the kale to begin to marinate and break down.

Prepare Squash.

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut squash into large ⅛” thick slices; a mandolin may be helpful.

Prepare Baking Dish and Assemble Gratin.

  • Butter a 13”x9” baking dish.
  • Place one layer of squash along the bottom, slightly overlapping to create a solid layer. 
  •  Add a layer of marinated kale (about two handfuls), sprinkle two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. 
  • Repeat, being sure to end with a layer of squash. Gently compress the layers.

Prepare And Add Cream.

  • In a small pot bring the heavy cream, half and half, and 4 oz. of goat cheese to a simmer until the cheese melts, whisking until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the hot cream over the gratin, gently shaking the dish so it evenly distributes itself. The level of the liquid should just skim the top layer of squash. 
  • Dot the top of the gratin with the remaining 4 oz. of goat cheese.

Top and Bake.

  • In a small bowl combine the remaining ½ C. of parmesan cheese, panko crumbs, and melted butter, stirring until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the gratin.
  • Create a parchment lid by cutting a sheet of parchment to fit the interior of the gratin dish. Place on top of the breadcrumbs and bake the gratin for 40 minutes until the squash is tender. 
  • Remove the lid and allow the breadcrumbs to brown, another 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and rest before cutting at least 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!