Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

Another seasonal recipe - this would have been good for Thanksgiving, but will be equally good for any upcoming holiday parties or open houses. Given that the key ingredients are butternut squash and onions, with a healthy amount of cheese thrown in for good measure, this galette can be a reliable stand-by for the rest of the winter.

Believe it or not, this recipe is NOT from Food52 (gasp!) but from another favorite of mine. Deb has a number of good galette/tart recipes on her site, so it's definitely worth checking out if you are looking to make something that's hearty enough to hold its own for a weeknight dinner for two and also appropriate as a starter when you are expecting company.

Two main notes about this recipe. One - it does require some prep (peel, chop up, and roast the squash, slice and caramelize the onions) - but as Deb points out, you can do that ahead of time and then the assembly time for the galette itself close to the guests' arrival is minimal. (Though it does help when you have a very nice helper for doing some of this peeling/chopping.) Two - if you are like me and the idea of making the galette dough, with all of its advance planning (one hour in the freezer, another hour in the fridge), stresses you out (you also have to do the squash and onions!), just don't do it. I used Pepperidge Farm's puff pastry, and didn't think the final result at all suffered from this stress-relieving shortcut.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the pastry:
1 sheet Pepperidge Farm puff pastry

For the filling:
1 small butternut squash (about one pound)*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
¾ cup fontina cheese (about 2½ ounces), grated or cut into small bits**
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves

*Don't worry if yours is bigger - any leftover squash/onion/cheese mixture that doesn't fit into the galette is delicious on its own later.
**We happened to use smoked fontina (regular was nowhere to be found), which gave the galette a suspiciously delicious bacon-y taste.

1. Thaw one sheet of puff pastry according to the directions on the package.

2. Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a ½-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil-lined sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Caramelize onions: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F. Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

5. Assemble galette: On a floured surface, roll out the thawed sheet of puff pastry (don't make it unreasonably thin). Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1½-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, folding the corner edges over each other. The center will be open.

6. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.