I'll be honest, my first thought when I saw this recipe was "huh???"
I never would have come up with this combination of ingredients, but I have to say I'm SO GLAD I didn't let that stop me!
This is a fantastic way to use butternut squash--Ezra Pound Cake is brilliant.
You can hardly distinguish the onions from the apples from the squash.
All of the flavors meld brilliantly into something sweet, savory and tangy--all at the same time.
Four side dish servings.
Recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium leeks, white part only, trimmed of roots and tough outer leaves, thinly sliced crosswise, well washed and dried OR 1 small onion, thinly sliced.
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup dry sherry or apple cider (I omitted this--and there was enough liquid without it.)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus leaves for garnish OR 2 tsp dried thyme
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 pound apples, such as Gala, Cortland, Baldwin, or Macoun, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a 10-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add leeks (Or oninos) and 2 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add sherry and sage (or thyme) and cook until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 3 minutes; set aside.
In a 2-quart shallow baking dish, arrange squash in overlapping layers; season with salt and pepper. Spread leeks (or onions) evenly over the squash.
Arrange apples in an overlapping layer over the leeks. Brush apples with remaining tablespoon oil. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 45 minutes.
Uncover and sprinkle cheese over the top. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown. The tip of a paring knife should easily pierce the gratin. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sage or thyme leaves.