Years ago, I was on the phone with my mom when she said abruptly, "Just a second, there's a recipe I want to read to you." She had just re-discovered a pumpkin cookbook that dated back to her newlywed days and wanted to share a little of her culinary history with me.
The recipe my mom narrated that day was for a dish of pumpkin, potato, cheese and egg, all mashed together and baked in a casserole dish. I took notes as she talked and a day or so after we hung up, headed into the kitchen to update the recipe.
I used Yukon gold potatoes and butternut squash and scattered thin ribbons of fresh sage throughout. It is rich, brightly flavored and makes for an excellent holiday or potluck dish. I start thinking of it hungrily every autumn and find a reason to make it at least once a year. It also taught me to listen intently every time my mother announces she has a recipe to share.
1 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced sage leaves (about 6-8 leaves)
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (freshly grated is always better)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Combine the cheeses in a medium bowl, and measure out 1/2 cup to set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the potatoes and squash until soft. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water, and drain the rest.
- Return the squash and potatoes to the cooking pot and mash with a fork or hand masher. Add the butter and 1 cup of the cheese mixture cheese and stir until they melt into the mixture.
- Add sage, nutmeg and pepper, stir to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Add the beaten eggs and stir to combine. Pour mixture into a baking dish and top with the reserved cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the top is browned and the casserole is bubbly.
- Serve warm.