This fall vegetarian Thanksgiving casserole from Sunset Magazine really highlights some Pacific Northwest bounty. The great thing is, you can make it a day ahead for Thanksgiving dinner, so you have less to do on the big day. The squash is from Alm Hill Farm in Everson, WA, and the leeks are from Nash’s Farm in Sequim. (A list of ingredients is at the end of this post.)
Squash mix Cube 3 cups of butternut squash into 3/4 in. chunks (we actually measured them). Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast on a baking sheet at 375 until they’re brown and tender (about half an hour). Put them in a large bowl.
Leek mix In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter and stir in 3 thinly sliced leeks. (Use the white and light green parts.) Sprinkle in some salt and cook until they’re soft. Then add 2 minced garlic cloves, stir for another two minutes, and add this mixture to the butternut squash bowl.
Mushroom mix Melt 2 tbsp butter in the same large frying pan. Stir in 3/4 lb. sliced, mixed wild mushrooms, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Increase the pan heat to medium-high and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and start to brown. Pull from the heat and stir in a tbsp fresh thyme leaves. Add this to the big bowl of mix.
Stir in 6 cups of cubed bread, cut into 1 inch cubes and lightly toasted. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 9×13 baking dish.
If you’re making this in advance, stop here and cover and chill the bread pudding, and bake it day-of. Or, finish the bread pudding a day in advance, keep in the fridge, and then reheat at 375 for a half hour when you’re ready to serve.
Custard mix In a medium bowl, whisk 3 cups half-and-half, 4 large eggs, a pinch of salt and pepper, a tbsp flour, and 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese. Pour the custard over the bread mixture and let stand for ten minutes. Top with a cup of shredded gruyere.
Bake at 375 until cheese is melted and starting to brown, and the custard is just set. About 30 to 35 minutes.
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash, cut into 3/4 in chunks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt & pepper
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 leeks (white & light green parts only) thinly sliced
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 3/4 lb mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
- tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 6 cups cubed rustic white bread, cut into 1 in. cubes and lightly toasted
- 3 cups half and half
- 4 large eggs
- tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- cup shredded gruyere cheese
- Bread Crumbs for Squash Bread Pudding and Sausage Apple Stuffing (seattlefoodshed.wordpress.com)
- Thanksgiving Prep – The Countdown Begins (seattlefoodshed.wordpress.com)