20 November 2009

Pomme d'or squash and leeks au gratin

En français ici.
I'd like to have something profound and philosophical to say in this post, but I don't. I think this is largely because of the evilness of pomme d'or squash. Oh, they're cute alright, and small and innocent-looking. They have smooth skin and are the size and color of an orange. Yes, they have that rosy golden glow of autumn and Thanksgiving right around the corner. Oh and they smell nice when cooking, and taste delicious. But don't let that fool you. They are mean, nasty buggers.

First of all their skin is tougher than an armored tank. I don't see why armies bother with Teflon when a soldier covered in these little squashes would be near invincible. Okay, ridiculous-looking, but invincible! (Besides there's a long tradition of ridiculous outfits and invincibility - just look at most classic superheros.)

I should have taken Camille's advice and roasted/steamed the squash whole, but I thought it couldn't be THAT hard to cut them in half and take out the seeds. I suppose it was a good idea... until I almost lost a finger. I had to cut into them so hard that when I felt the knife slip onto my index finger, I was sure it was gone for good! Luckily my reflexes are a lot better than I give them credit for and, besides scaring myself half to death, the damage was minimal.

Anyway the end result, a gratin based on a combination of Camille's Squash Apple Crumble and Anne's Gratin de poireaux au four, was absolutely delicious. How delicious, you ask? I might consider cooking pomme d'or squash again just to have it.

For my American readers: this would be a perfect Thanksgiving side dish, and you could substitute other types of squash, since pommes d'or are pretty rare in the US.

6 pomme d'or squash (850g/30 oz - invincible skin included)
sea salt

5 small leeks (or 3 large)
1-2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
splash dry white wine
1/2 cup cream

100g (about 1/2 cup) goat cheese (i.e. chabichou de poitou), sliced
100g semi-hard sheep cheese (i.e. etorki), grated

Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Cut the squash in half (if you can) and scoop out the seeds. Place halves in a baking dish with a bit of water. Drizzle olive oil on squash and sprinkle with sea salt and sage. Roast until the squash is soft. Remove from oven and scoop flesh into another baking dish. Top squash with half the cheese (both kinds).

In the meantime, wash and chop the leeks. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook until leeks are soft (about 15 min). Add a splash of white wine and cook another minute. Remove from heat and add the cream, stirring well.

Pour the leeks on top of the squash and top with the rest of the cheese. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starts to turn golden. Serve hot as a main or side dish!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is a lovely gratin! It looks delicious!



Ivy said...

I have never tried this combination but I can imagine that this must taste divine.

Acai said...


Sam said...

I know what you mean about these things being tough, I've given up trying to peel them and just roast them with the skin on now. Still have to chop them though!

The gratin looks delicious, I don't do thanksgiving but this would be perfect with Christmas dinner.

Hopie said...

Rosa - Thank you!

Ivy - It was a first for me, but definitely yummy.

Acai - Thanks!

Sam - Yea it was the chopping them that killed me. If there's a way to do them whole, I'm trying that next time! The gratin definitely would be good for Christmas too :-)

Maria said...

This looks delicious. I've got some leeks in the fridge that I need to use and this would be delightful.

Anonymous said...

Have I really not commented on this yet? Wow. Anyway, looks great, and I'm sorry I wasn't insistent enough about how impossible those squash were to deal with until I roasted/steamed them into submission.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

giz said...

It seems to me that there was a good lesson learned in this effort. The outcome after it all is beautiful. Are these the same as pie pumpkins?

Hopie said...

Maria - Hope you enjoy it!

Camille - Well sometimes we have to learn things the hard way ;-) They were pretty deadly! At least they were good.

Giz - Indeed. I'm not sure if they're the same as pie pumpkins. I think they're a kind of squash rather than a kind of pumpkin. They're all smooth...

Tony said...

This looks amazing but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try it now that I've heard your harrowing cooking tale ;)

megz said...

Hello, I stumbled on to your blog while searching for information on "Pomme D'OR Squash" - read this recipe and had to make it! I made it using Hubbard squash (because that's what I had) and it was AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe, I'll be making it often during winter squash season.

Hopie said...

Megz - Well thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you liked the recipe. I make it often during squash season myself! I've never tasted Hubbard squash. Is it similar to Pomme d'Or?

megz said...

Well, I've never tasted Pomme d'Or so I don't know for sure! I just placed an order from Baker Creek which included Pomme d'Or seeds, growing them for the first time this year :)

Hubbard is nice, sweet and nutty, thick fleshed squash (stringless) - I like it a lot.