Monday, February 2, 2009

The most comforting of comfort foods

Last night I was needing some comfort, and the obvious first place to look for it was in my kitchen. Rummaging around in my cabinet, I spied the usual suspects: mac & cheese, brownies, my roommate's chips ahoy. "No, no, no, that's not it at all," I found myself lamenting. "Why doesn't my kitchen cabinet understand how I feel?"

And that's when I saw the humble butternut squash resting on the third shelf. During my last weekly shopping trip I had gathered the ingredients for an intriguing recipe that has appeared in my most recently copy of Gourmet. The roasted butternut squash galette had caught my eye, as it reminded me of the best pizza I have ever eaten (butternut squash with asiago, sage, and caramelized onions, which I stumbled upon in a small cafe called Veggie Planet hidden in a Boston suburb.) The recipe looked easy enough for my battered brain to handle, so I retrieved my gourd and went to work.

An hour's work resulted in a pastry that was everything I had hoped and dreamed it would be. A tried and true comfort food. Warming through and through. Having discovered this secret, I wondered if I were now obligated to send roasted butternut squash galettes to each and every person who has had a rough day. I almost wish I could. But since I'm not sure how I would safely send a flakey tart through the United States Postal Service, perhaps I should just tell you how to go about making your own. After all, if you're in need of a bit of comfort, I highly recommend turning to this warm, savory pastry. It has charming goat cheese, lovable sauteed leeks, soothing chopped sage, and sweet butternut squash all baked into a flakey pastry made golden with brushed on eggs. While my dinner didn't and couldn't fix all my troubles, one warm bite was enough to convince me that, in the end, everything was going to be alright.

Roasted Butternut Squash Galette
Adopted from Gourmet Feb. 09

Ingredients - For Pastry
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Ingredients - For Filling
1 (2 lb.) Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2 by 1/4 inch slices
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), thickly sliced crosswise
6 oz soft mild goat cheese, crumbled

Step one: Make the dough. If you are short on time, you can always use a pie crust mix instead. That being said, a mix will never ever be as delicious as one you make yourself from good quality butter. Pulse flour, butter, sage, and sea salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. If you do not have a food processor, use a hand-held pastry cutter instead. Drizzle ice water evenly over the mixture and pulse or mix until it just forms a ball. Gently press dough into a 5 inch disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Step two: While dough chills, start your filling. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F with rack in the middle position. Toss squash with sea salt and 1 tablespoon oil and arrange in 1 layer in on a large baking sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Step three
: Wash leeks, then cook in remaining 2 Tablespoons oil with a pinch of sea salt in a 10 inch heavy skillet over medium heat, partially covered, and stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly. Add squash, goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss gently.

Step four: Roll out dough into a 13 inch round on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Transfer to a baking sheet. Arrange filling in an even layer in center of dough, leaving a 2 to 3 inch border. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary. Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

  1. I made something similar a few weeks back and it was delicious indeed! Thanks for reminding me about it with your scrumptious post. :)



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Adriana Willsie and Kylie Springman ©2009