1(2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 1/2teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2cup toasted and peeled hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
2large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2teaspoons chopped fresh sage
4ounces Comté, shredded
1/2cup heavy cream
3/4cup dried breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400F.
On a large baking sheet, combine squash, garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar and olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread in single layer and roast 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic cloves out of skins (discard skins) and toss with squash. Stir in hazelnuts. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Meanwhile, melt butter in medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté leeks, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in sage.
Oil an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Spread half of leek mixture on bottom of dish. Spread half of squash mixture over top, followed by half of Comté. Top with remaining leeks and squash. Pour cream over. Cover tightly and bake 30 minutes.
Mix remaining Comté with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle evenly over gratin. Bake uncovered until top is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Comté Cheese Association, Nickie Sizemore