There are a lot of reasons I shouldn’t like this dish, first among them that peeling butternut squash never fails to infuriate me and has become one of my most dreaded kitchen chores. Equally frustrating was trying to make the buttery dough, which, it turns out, is really best done with a pastry cutter, as the recipe suggests. After mashing at frozen butter chunks hopelessly with a fork, I resorted to just using my fingers, grumbling all the while. But nonetheless, I’d make this recipe again in a heartbeat. It was just that good.
If you’re craving something warm and autumnal to combat the cooler air and early dusk, this butternut squash and caramelized onion galette, found on Smitten Kitchen a couple of weeks ago will do the trick. Sweet and warm, with just a touch of cheese and a thin, flaky crust, this galette is a little slice of heaven on a cool October evening. We had to restrain ourselves from eating the entire thing right then and there, taking just a slice each and wrapping up the rest to savor as leftovers for the next couple of dinners. If you love butternut squash (and who doesn’t, really?) give this recipe a try.
Next time, rather than peeling and slicing the uncooked squash, I’ll probably just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, and after brushing the cut faces with a little olive oil, roast them face down at 400 on a baking sheet for 45 minutes or so. That way, rather than fighting your way through the rock-hard flesh, you can just ease the squash out of its softened skin. As for the butter, well, I can only hope investing in a pastry cutter might make that process a little smoother, but in the meantime, if I have to smoosh little frozen butter balls with my fingers again, so be it. This galette is a keeper.
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette (serves 6)
For the pastry:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
¼ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup ice water
For the filling:
1 small butternut squash (about one pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons butter (if you have only non-stick, the smaller amount will do)
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
¾ cup fontina cheese (about 2½ ounces), grated or cut into small bits
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1. Make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees 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 (for neatness sake) 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. Stir in cayenne.
4. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.
5. Assemble galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the mushrooms and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit. 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. Serves 6.