For 4 servings:
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
6 sage leaves, chiffonade
2 medium large onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 to 2 pounds winter squash, butternut
4 slices whole wheat or white bread, crusts removed and torn or chopped into small pieces
3 ounces (1 cup) gruyere cheese
1 1/2 cups warm milk
Bring several quarts of water to a boil. Peel the squash, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Dice the squash into about 1 1/2" pieces. Add salt to the water when it has boiled, and then add the squash. Let the water return to a bowl, simmer for a few minutes and then drain.
Lightly butter an 8x10" gratin dish. Warm the oil in a sauté pan with the bay leaf and sage, then add the onions. Cook gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and spread them over the bottom of the gratin dish. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. To form the gratin, lay the squash over the onions and season with salt and pepper. Spread the grated cheese over the squash and work into the crevices with your fingers. Pour in the warm milk and then distribute the bread over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour then remove the foil and bake until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork and all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes more. Let the gratin settle for a few minutes before service.
Inspired by Cameron Green