I imagine most of us are drawing on inner reserves or finding new tools to cope with the continued stresses and isolation this pandemic is causing. Some of us are lucky to have jobs and homes, some of us not so much. With fewer distractions than pre-COVID life, on my good days at least, I’ve been able to find much joy and gratitude everywhere I look–the roof over my head and food in my pantry and family members I still very much love, the falling leaves, neighboring houses decked out with lights and the beautiful moon.
Usually this time of year is filled with parties, concerts and school performances and travels to see loved ones. What are you doing to celebrate and enjoy the season? What new traditions are you starting? Walks through festive neighborhoods? Zoom parties? Distanced cookie deliveries? How can we share the bounty we may have with others? (See below for a few organizations I love to support.)
Lucky for me I get to invite you into my kitchen and peek into yours as I continue to teach live, virtual classes. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how warm and inviting even a Zoom event can be though I’m still dreaming of a smell-o-vision feature or some crazy Charlie-and-the chocolate-factory-type device that could transport the goodies I’m creating directly into your kitchens in real time!
I’m teaching one next Wednesday, December 9th on sweet and savory holiday treats. It’s fun to do with friends or family far away as we can all come together in our kitchens in the moment. One of the dishes we’ll make is this caramelized onion and winter squash galette, seasoned with sage and cayenne. It’s a winner!
Caramelized Onion & Winter Squash Galette
–Inspired by smittenkitchen.com
In this version all I had was delicata squash so I didn’t peel it and it worked just fine. I’ve also taken to not peeling butternut squash so feel free to skip that step if a little (tender) skin doesn’t bother you.
For the Galette pastry:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup plain, preferably whole milk yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons ice water (or just add enough to bring the dough together)
For the filling:
About 3-4 cups diced winter squash (either butternut or delicata–no need to peel, see headnote or any other type of winter squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 ½ large onions, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped, fresh or dried sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
For the the pastry dough:
1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or pulse a few times in the food processor or use your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces too. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and water and drizzle mixture over flour and butter and using a fork, quickly stir it to combine. Bring the lumps together into a ball and knead it for a few seconds just to bring it together. Do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for 20 (it keeps for 48 hours in the fridge if you’re making it ahead).
2. Toss winter squash pieces with just a little of the olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on baking sheet for about 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. While squash is roasting, heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add onions and sage with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt. Saute for a few minutes until onions begin to soften, then turn down to medium-low, cover and stirring occasionally, cook until soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne. Taste adjust for salt and/or spice.
4. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Gently mix squash, caramelized onions and cheese together in a bowl.
5. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 14-inch round. Transfer to an un-greased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Drizzle evenly with the balsamic vinegar, if using. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, slightly overlapping/pleating the edge as you go around.
6. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then slide the tart onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
Portland-area organizations doing critical work to support our neighbors in need:
Be well and keep cooking!