Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

This year I had my Thanksgiving menu planned for a week or two (selecting recipes for a dinner party is one of my favorite past times, and I always get started early) when I realized the day after that two of my guests were actually – gasp – vegetarians. It went without saying than that there would be no turkey for them, and even worse, no stuffing, as my stuffing recipe is made with sausage. The peas with onions and pancetta were promptly scratched as well. This left very few dishes on the menu for my vegetarian guests, a bit problematic as Thanksgiving is all about abundance (and giving thanks, of course) so I promptly went back to the menu drawing board. I was looking for a recipe that would be substantial enough for the non-meat eaters, and considered making a pumpkin risotto or pumpkin pasta before coming across a recipe for Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette, which solved all of my problems. My menu for this year then is the following:

Cornbread
Turkey with cranberry sauce
Baked mashed potatoes
Arugula, pear, walnut, and gorgonzola salad  with balsamic vinaigrette
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

Pecan Pie (recipe forthcoming)

But back to that Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette. If this recipe looks familiar, it is because you have seen it before in its Summer version (remember this Three Cheese Zucchini Tart?) Essentially it is an open faced, savory pie that is substantial enough to serve to your vegetarian guests at Thanksgiving, that also happens to be absolutely delicious (yes, I tested this recipe for you already and nearly ate the whole thing by myself). Indeed, I could write a whole book about how good this galette is, but let me try and keep this short and sweet: the crust is super easy to work with, and the consistency is perfect, beyond flaky and buttery, while still managing to be sturdy enough to stand up the filling. Ah yes, the filling -- everyone knows that onions are at their best when caramelized and squash is happiest when roasted, and when you put these two veggies together in the aforementioned perfect crust, accompanied by a healthy dose of cheese and a sprinkle of sage, you have created a downright divine combination of ingredients. Bottom line: this recipe belongs on your menu for Thanksgiving, vegetarians or not, and I have a feeling I'll be making it many more times afterwards. Note that this recipe could either make one large galette or two small ones – completely up to you -- and would also be great served as an appetizer. Enjoy everyone!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CARAMELIZED ONION GALETTE

For the pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into
pieces

1/2 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup ice water

For the filling:
2 small butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 cups fontina, gruyere, or Emmental cheese, grated (I used Emmental)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves 

1 egg, beaten for eggwash


Directions:
Make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and water and add the mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball and knead together on a floured work surface just to form a smooth ball of dough; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil lined baking sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway throughout the baking time. Set aside to cool slightly.

Caramelize onions: While squash is roasting, melt the butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

Assemble galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. Brush with egg wash and bake in the oven until golden brown, 30-40 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 room temperature. Makes (1) 12 inch galette, serving 8, or two smaller galettes, serving 4 each.

Recipe very slightly adapted from www.smittenkitchen.com.





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