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This is the reheated in the micro version, as we had dinner guests when it was originally served and I failed to get a picture.

So, for years, I’ve only had access to the Trader Joe’s grocery store chain on rare occasions when we visited a “big city”. For a long time, Trader Joe’s (TJ) wouldn’t go into states where liquor sales are not allowed in grocery stores, so they were non existent for the 16 years I lived in Colorado. TJ is now much more ubiquitous (and a lot of the liquor laws have changed), but they still won’t go into smaller or less affluent communities. And they always seem to arrive AFTER I move. One opened in Spokane about 2 weeks before we made the move to Walla Walla. Sigh. There isn’t one in the Tri-Cities…yet. So whenever we’re back up in Spokane, or over on the west side of Oregon or Washington, we hit up TJ and stock up on a few things like extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and, of course, chocolate.

IMG_20171015_111236298watermarkLast weekend, we were up in Spokane, and I was stocking up at TJ, and they had samplers out of their frozen Butternut Parmigiana. It was, not surprisingly, yummy. And my thought was, to heck with buying this. I can MAKE this, easily. I had a big butternut squash in my pantry at home. And I’m always looking for new squash recipes this time of year. So here is my copy cat version. I skipped the cookie crunch topping, because seriously, I don’t need more sugar in my life.

IMG_20171015_111320311watermarkA google search turned up the ingredients: Roasted Butternut Squash, Olive Oil, Whole Milk, Parmesan Cheese, Shredded Swiss Cheese, Grated Romano Cheese, Shallots, Flour, Butter, Rosemary, Nutmeg, Amaretti Cookie Crunch. So, roasted squash, a bit of a white sauce, layers of cheese, bake. Easy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Parmesan (Trader Joe’s Copy Cat Version)

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • one large shallot, diced small (Don’t have a shallot on hand? Just use 1/4 cup of onion and maybe a small clove of garlic instead).
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp white flour
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed (I forgot to add this, but I’m sure its a good addition)
  • 8 oz shredded swiss cheese (in my case, I did a mix of half swiss/half local Umapine Creamery “just cheese”)
  • 4 oz shredded mix of romano, asiago and parmesan (Frigo makes a mix – or just mix your own from some combo of nutty and pungent drier cheeses)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two sheet pans with tin foil or parchment paper.

IMG_20171015_111826166watermarkPeel butternut (the hardest part), then slice into approximately 1/4 inch rounds. When you get to the seed cavity, cut the piece in half, clean out the seeds, and cut the halves into 1/4 inch half moons.

Toss butternut with olive oil (I probably used a couple of tablespoons) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place butternut in a single layer on your sheet pans. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip squash and rotate pans, and roast for another 20 minutes or until butternut is lightly browned and easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and let cool.

IMG_20171015_112636979_HDRwatermarkMeanwhile, saute shallot in butter in a small skillet on medium low heat until shallot is soft, 4 or 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir for 30 seconds to cook flour slightly and absorb the butter. Add milk and stir quickly. Add in crushed rosemary. Heat and stir until sauce is just thickened. Then turn off heat.

Spray a 7 x 11 baking pan with oil. Lay a single layer of cooked squash in pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of each cheese, and dot with 1/3 of milk mixture. Add a second layer of squash and repeat. Finish with third layer of squash/cheese/milk. Sprinkle top with about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs or crushed cookies (ginger snaps would be good here) if desired.

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Assistance from the peanut gallery while peeling/chopping.

Bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven, until cheese is melted and everything is bubbly and delicious, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Everyone loved this. My husband even ate it alone for lunch the next day. Definitely a winner.

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2017, where we managed to grow a total of four butternut this year. I’ve stopped growing winter squash for farmers market as my squash bug problem is currently insurmountable. But every year I grow a few in a far off corner away from the regular vegetable garden/squash bug paradise and manage to harvest a few for our own use.