Monday, November 22, 2010

Ooh la la.

Last weekend, my friends Miya and Shiv came over for a leisurely Sunday lunch. We drank some wine, chatted quite a bit, and enjoyed one seriously delicious galette.

See, a couple of weeks ago, Food52 selected butternut squash as its weekly contest theme, and lorinarlock (hereafter known as "Genius") posted a recipe for a butternut squash galette with roasted garlic. I was intrigued, but obviously didn't want to keep the experiment to myself, so I invited Miya and Shiv over to taste the results with me.

So, let's talk galette. First of all, there's nothing in the world easier than a galette. As we've discussed in the past, a galette is basically a free-form tart baked right on a cookie sheet (or, in this case, on a piece of parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet). Like pies and tarts, galettes highlight their filling beautifully, which is one of the reasons I love them oh-so-much. They provide the perfect canvas for expressing the best of what's in season.

This galette is made even better by including a healthy amount of roast garlic and one of my favorite things - fresh ricotta. You roast the garlic alongside the squash, pop it out of its skin, and mash it into the ricotta. Then, you spread the ricotta over the bottom of the tart before you pile on the pre-roasted squash. Really.

So, now you know how easy it is, and how smart it is. The question left in your mind, probably, is, "how did it taste?" The answer is: amazeballs. This tart was so freaking good, I'm surprised the three of us didn't come to blows over the leftovers. Alongside a piquant green salad and a glass of Chardonnay, it made one of the best lunches of all time. Seriously.

Make this tart, and do it soon.

Butternut Squash Galette
Adapted from lorinarlock on Food52

For the crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal (or polenta)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbs. chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch bits
2 to 3 tbs. ice water

For the filling:
1 butternut squash
2 tbs. olive oil
11 cloves garlic, one chopped, the others whole and unpeeled
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
2 tbs. grated parmesan

Place the flour, cornmeal and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse once or twice to combine, then add the butter. Pulse several times, until the mixture just begins to form pea-sized lumps. With the motor running, add the water little by little, until the dough just begins to come together.

Take the dough out of the food processor and dump it onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Form it into a ball and place the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel the squash and cut in half at the neck (in other words, separate the neck of the squash from the rounded, bottom part). Slice each half in half again, lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut each fourth crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and place in a large bowl. Pour the olive oil evenly over the squash, followed by the chopped garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Toss gently with your hands to make sure the squash is evenly coated in oil and seasonings.

Arrange the squash on the baking sheet. (It's okay to have overlap; the pieces don't need to be in one layer.) Scatter the remaining, intact garlic cloves around the sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and roast until the squash and garlic are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Once the squash is relatively cool, retrieve the pastry dough from the oven. Roll out the dough between two lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap until you have a 12-inch round. Transfer the dough to a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside.

Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the cloves from the squash pan. In a medium bowl, mash it until you have a rough puree, then add the ricotta. Stir everything evenly together, then spread it evenly over the bottom the rolled-out pastry, leaving about a one-inch border on all sides. Mound the squash evenly over the cheese mixture, making sure to include the thyme and chopped garlic from the pan.

Sprinkle the parmesan evenly over the top of the squash. Starting from wherever you like, pull the edges of the galette up, forming the sides. Place the galette in the oven and bake until the crust is crisp and golden-brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

The galette can be served warm or at room temperature, but make sure to cool it for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side.


elisabeth said...

That looks seriously delicious! I'm going to be whipping that baby up this week for sure.

amanda said...

Love galettes of all flavors and sizes! This one looks great.

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