Pumpkin Cheese Gratin: Quick and Easy Veggie Side Dish Recipe
When my sister and I lucked into a good source of sweet Cinderella pumpkins, we stocked up on the orange-fleshed beauties and filled our freezers with homemade pumpkin puree. Ever since, we've had great fun in seeking out and trying a variety of interesting recipes that use pumpkin puree in various forms.
As you can see in my cooking photo, my go-to baking dish is a vintage CorningWare casserole in the blue Cornflower pattern lots of us grew up with.
A Delicious Baked Pumpkin-Cheese Side Dish
It's easy enough to find good recipes for baked goods and sweets, but the real challenge was to come up with creative ways to use pumpkin as a vegetable side dish. This quick and easy recipe - just a simple vegetable gratin - made a real hit at our holiday dinners, and has since become a family favourite.
The secret to success with this simple side dish is to season it carefully (yes, you will need to taste to get this right, as different varieties of pumpkin have slightly different flavours) and to choose a cheese that has enough "character" to balance the rich strong flavour of the pumpkin puree.
- 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs (dry or soft, whatever you have)
- 1/4 cup grated cheese with a strong flavor (we like Parmesan or sharp Cheddar)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- Combine the breadcrumbs and cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Freshly ground black pepper is worth the small extra effort here!)
- Add salt and pepper to the pumpkin puree, to taste.
- Put the pumpkin puree into a 1-quart oven-proof baking dish.
- Sprinkle the cheese and crumb mixture on top.
- Cut the butter into very small pieces and dot it on the crumb topping.
- Bake about 15 or 20 minutes, until the crumbs are golden-brown.
- Serve hot.