I blame the butternut squash.
Well, actually, I blame my CSA. Between travel and other obligations, I had postponed my CSA for about a month. I'm sure you have noticed it being VERY quiet around here. Food has been eaten but I just haven't gotten myself motivated to photograph it or talk abou itt. Summer is speeding by as summer does. But last Wednesday I was anxious to jump back into summery creations and share a little something here in the blogosphere. Hurriedly (almost the way I open packages with the Amazon sticker on them) I opened my box pulling out potatoes and greens and peppers and...butternut squash? Surprised but actually pleasantly surprised. I LOVE butternut squash like I love cozy scarves and hot apple cider and falling leaves and burning wood in a fireplace. I couldn't get it out of my mind. Suddenly I wanted fall and I wanted it badly.
Honestly, though, its not fair to blame the squash or the farmer that grew it. Truthfully, I am kind of done with summer. I am bored with the pool. I am sick of sucking my breath in from the suffocating heat when I walk outside. I am sick of watering my plants (is that like saying you are tired of feeding your children?) And, sadly, I think I am sick of summer vegetables. Here in Texas, we have kind of been doing this whole bounty-of-veggies since mid-April. Which makes sense to my body that four months later, it (my body, it controls most of my cooking decisions) wants to transition to cozier fallier flavors.
But we are SOOOO not done with summer around these parts. No, a good 3 months probably left. Yuck. I am so in for it. So let's just call this a diversion. I respite from the heat. You know how in the depth of winter you suddenly want to have a margarita and a plate of tacos in order to feel warmer? Let's say this is my summer version of that. We stayed in this morning as if we were snowed in. Kept our PJs on, read books on the couch. All while warming smells of roasting squash and caramelizing onions filled the house. And I forgot for a bit that the temperature was creeping towards 100 outside my door. That was until I had to go outside and photograph my food. Blogger problems.
This is certainly not a typical recipe to pop up in August. But please don't overlook it. Much like a good pie crust, the dough for this galette is what makes it so irresistible. Croissant like flakiness with a yummy tang. You can throw anything on that bad boy and I am sure it would come out fantastic. Instead of the butternut squash and Fontina how about summer squash and ricotta, or heirloom tomatoes and manchego? Also, this is equally good warm from the oven as it is room temperature at a picnic. It holds up wonderfully to travel and is great to feed a crowd. So if you are one of the lucky ones who can comfortably sit outside under the stars and not sweat your brains out, you should bring this galette to your next al fresco dining experience. But do come back next fall and try it with butternut squash. I will. Even if my "fall" doesn't show up until December.
Hey Sis, Try This...
Butternut Squash Galette + Summery Variations
There was little to no adaptation from the original recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, because why change a great thing? But the summery versions are my "own" ideas (inspired by random pinterest searches.)
For the crust:
2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry and 1/2 cup Whole wheat, or 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I prefer the heartiness of the whole wheat)
1/2 t salt
16 T unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (I’ve used both and both work well)
1 T white vinegar
1/3 cup ice water
For the filling:
1 large (2 1/2 lb) butternut squash
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 t salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 T butter
2 large Spanish or Vidalia onions, thinly sliced in half moons, or 2 medium and 2 small yellow onions (that’s what I had in my pantry so by George that’s what I used)
1/4 t sugar
1/4 t cayenne pepper
2 cups grated fontina cheese
1 t fresh thyme or sage
2 large zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
2 T olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese) 1/4 cup (1 ounce
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 T slivered basil leaves
2 pints heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half or sliced if large
1 T fresh basil, torn
2 cups manchego, grated
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 T water, for glaze
For the crust:
Combine the flour and salt. Add butter, whole, and cut with a pastry cutter until it resembles corn meal. Whisk sour cream, vinegar and water add it to flour butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon and finish with a few kneads on the counter to bring it together. I also added a bit more flour so it was not quite as sticky. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic and chill it for at least one hour and up to two days. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling.
Butternut Squash: Peel squash, halve it and scoop out the seeds. Cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. and toss with 2 T olive oil. Spread a baking sheet with 2 T olive oil and lay squash on top in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 t salt and black pepper. Roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes, stirring once halfway, until squash is tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
While the squash is roasting, melt the butter and the remaining T olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat, adding in the sugar and remaining t of salt. Stir occasionally, until soft and tender, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper (This is optional but so good. It really isn’t as much as heat as you might think, but if you are afraid, cut it back to a pinch.)
Mix together the squash, onions, cheese, and thyme in a large bowl.
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 16--inch round or 2 9-inch rounds (I made one 9 inch because when I went to make my dough I only had one stick of butter, wah waah.) Transfer to a parchment-lined pizza pan or baking sheet. Spread the squash mixture over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border.
Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 T of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Prepare dough as listed above and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining 1 T of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini.
Put the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Lay the tomatoes on several sheets of paper towel to drain (dried tomatoes will make a crisp tart).
In the meantime, Prepare dough as listed above and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Leaving a 2 -inch border, scatter the cheese on the top of the dough, then arrange the tomatoes evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle with basil.
To finish for all versions:
Fold the border over the filling, pleating it as necessary, leaving the center open. Brush the outside of the crust with the egg/water mixture.
Bake at 400 until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.