Thursday, March 25, 2010
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette
We’ve got news people. Big news. Wait, don’t jump to conclusions – it’s not that news. But it is exciting news. We’re moving! Thanks to a little thing called “apartment renovation”, Stan and I are moving a few blocks down the road to greener, less likely to be demolished, pastures. Perhaps most exciting? Our new place has a serious kitchen. We’re talking counter space and cabinets galore. After two and a half years of having to store kitchen appliances in bedrooms, coat closets, and in the oven, the prospect of all the new cooking and baking space is positively thrilling.
Today’s post is thus the last I will write from our current apartment. And I have to start it with a confession: I feel like a fool. Many months ago, I discovered the smitten kitchen website. One of the first recipes I came across was for this butternut squash and caramelized onion galette. I saved the recipe as an intriguing possibility, but I never got around to making it until yesterday. And that, my friends, is why I am fool. Because this recipe is out of this world. Truly, it is amazing.
Now I’m not one to throw around such strong praise lightly. While I love almost every recipe I tell you about, this galette is positively drool-worthy. I made it for lunch yesterday to share with a dear friend who came over to help me pack. She is a fellow foodie, and both of us could not stop raving about the flavors and textures in this dish.
Let’s start with the pastry. It is incredibly light and flaky. Having never made homemade pastry dough before, I was a little unsure how it would turn out. I shouldn’t have worried – the dough is simple to prepare and easy to work with. I know pastry can be challenging, but honestly, this dough was fantastic.
Now onto the filling: it is mouthwatering. The filling is simple enough, with relatively few ingredients. It is the preparation of those ingredients that make them so flavorful. The butternut squash is roasted and the onions are caramelized before mixing together the filling. These cooking methods bring out the natural sweetness in the squash and onions and intensify their flavors. The smooth fontina cheese binds the filling together without making it cheesey; you don’t even really know it’s there. All in all, this recipe is a winner. Don’t make my mistake and wait for months to try it. No need for both of us to feel like fools!
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
1 small (about 1 lb.) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
Pinch of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
3/4 cup fontina cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
To Make the Pastry:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter to another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour.
Remove the bowls from the freezer and cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal. (You can use a pastry blender, 2 forks, or your fingers to do this.)
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, and ice water. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in half of the sour cream mixture. Use your fingertips to gently mix in the liquid. Pour in the remaining liquid and mix it into the dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it will be tough, not flaky.
Gently form the dough into a ball. Place it back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To Make the Filling:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Toss the butternut squash with the olive oil and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Spread the squash onto the prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized on the edges. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
While the squash is roasting, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter, and when melted, add the onions, the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt, and a pinch of sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the onions are soft and lightly golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in the cayenne pepper. Set aside to cool.
To Prepare the Galette:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the roasted squash, caramelized onions, fontina cheese, and sage leaves.
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to an ungreased baking sheet.
Place the filling in the center of the circle, leaving a border of about 1 1/2 inches all the way around.
Fold the border over the filling. The center will be open.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Let the pastry rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then slice into wedges and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.