Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette
Once upon a time, I was obsessed with savoury galettes. To me, there were a few higher ceilings than serving for dinner a big green salad and a free-form, rustic tart that you could fill with, well, whatever you pleased. I made a festive one with wild mushrooms and blue cheese; a wintry one with cabbage and ricotta. But my favourite galette of all was the butternut squash and caramelized onion gallette I made on a whim one October evening.
Years - and one kid - later, I went to make the recipe again for a bring-a-plate dinner and was horrified at the amount of labor it tool to yield a dinky galette that would barely serve four for dinner, despite the six servings I suggested. This happens quite a lot after you have a kid: your time is pressed, your energy limited. Though I still delight in made-from-scratch dinners, they had better feed at least my family, with a glimmer of hope there will be leftovers.
So I doubled the crust and made more filling, and replaced some white flour with wholemeal (it's dinner, after all), and tweaked any number of other things; what came out of my oven was a small pizza-sized wonder of wonders that fed my family for three nights, Three! Nights!
Since then, this galette and I have been reunited, and we have never looked back. It is wonderful, either as a pleasant surprise on a weeknight or as a stepped-up appetizer for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Divide it into a few smaller galettes and it becomes the things you can bring to a wine-and-cheese cocktail party that nobody will be able to stop talking about.
- For the pastry:
- 315g plain flour (including 150g wholemeal flour if you like), plus more for work surface
- ½ tsp table salt
- 225g unsalted butter, diced
- 120g soured cream or full-fat Greek yogurt (i.e a strained yogurt)
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 80ml ice water
- For the filling:
- 2 small or 1 large butternut squash (about 1.25kg)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp table salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 15g butter
- 2 large sweet onions, such as Spanish or Vidalia, halved, thinly sliced in half-moons
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
- 185g grated Italian fontina cheese
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for glaze (optional, but makes for a croissant-looking finish)
Make pastry. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt then add the diced butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar and water, and pour this over the butter-flour mixture. Stir with a spoon or a rubber spatula until a dough forms, kneading it once or twice on the counter if needed to bring it together. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Prepare squash. Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6. Peel the squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into 1-to-1.cm chunks. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into one large or two smaller baking sheets, spreading it to an even slick. Lay the squash chinks on the baking sheet in one layer, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roast for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender, turning the pieces occasionally so that they brown up evenly. Set aside to cool slightly. Leave the oven on.
Caramelize onions. While the squash is roasting, melt the butter and the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a heavy frying pan, and cool the onions over a medium-low heat with the sugar and remaining teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper, if you are using it.
Mix the squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.
Assemble the galette. On a floured work surface, roll the doll out into a 40cm round. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the squash-and- cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 5-to-6cm border. Fold the border over the squash and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush the outside of the crust with the egg-yolk wash, if using.
Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the galette from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide it onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.