What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Recipe: 'Nana's' chef shares his favorite dish

Posted February 9

Photo by Briana Brough

— Chef Scott Howell of Nana's Restaurant in Durham shares his favorite recipe for cold, winter days.

“Scott always makes a gratin for the family at the holidays," said his wife, Aubrey Zinaich-Howell. "He loves using vegetables like squash because it’s a new and fun way to use an item that people want to use but always struggle with coming up with ideas other than just straight roasting. My family has a lot of food allergies, and butternut is one thing that everyone can eat, so it’s a win-win -- comfort food for a family gathering that everyone can chow down on.”

Butternut Squash Gratin

(Serves 4 to 6)


  • 2 Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced thin, about⅛-inch butter
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 qt. Cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat oven to 350 F. Butter a small gratin pan.
  • In a saucepan, sweat down the leeks, thyme and salt to taste until soft with no color.
  • Once soft, add the cream, bring to a boil and turn off immediately.
  • You can also make this the day before and reheat!
  • Layer the butternut squash in the dish, two layers at a time, pouring cream and leeks between every two layers of squash until you reach ¼-inch from the top of the dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake until golden brown. Let sit 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

This recipe originally appeared in Durham Magazine.

See Chef Howell bring his signature family-style flavor to TASTE 2017, which showcases more than 40 of the best local chefs, restaurants, artisans and breweries under one roof. The event is held in April, sponsored by Chapel Hill Magazine and Durham Magazine, and brought to you by Johnson Lexus. You can view the full TASTE schedule and purchase tickets for events by visiting the event website.

WRAL Out and About is a sponsor of Taste 2017.


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