I'm not sure if you've noticed but this week's menus have a very subtle theme. Starting with Sole Almondine, then Provencal style Beef Stew and moving on to last night's butternut squash galette, they all have a kiss of the French countryside in them - simple food with "beaucoup" flavors.
Last night's galette is a perfect example. A galette is nothing but a free form tart, often fruit filled - in fact my absolute favorite is apple with a touch of maple syrup, cinnamon and browned butter. In this case the pastry disc is a showcase for some of autumn's best savory flavors.
Since this site is all about everyday food and this everyday person can be a tad lazy, I used a ready made crust that I simply rolled a little thinner. Hey, pastry isn't hard to make but I know some of you are a tad pastry phobic and I didn't want you to pass this recipe up because you thought it was too much of a pain. It's just too darn delicious!
Sprinkled with fresh chopped sage and topped with roasted butternut squash, sauteed leeks and wonderful creamy soft mild goat's cheese, the galette was out of the oven in a quick 35 minutes. Course that's cooking time but it is something that a busy cook can prep in advance, hold in the refrigerator and bake just before dinner. Served with a salad, it's a fabulous meatless lunch or dinner item never mind that it would make a great first course on your Thanksgiving menu. Of course in our case I served it along with some sliced pork roast that I rescued from the freezer because, as you know, the big guy doesn't do meatless Mondays.
We loved it. I think you could make it with almost any kind of squash and while the leeks were wonderful, shallots or thinly sliced caramelized onions would be delicious too. If you're not much into the flavor of sage, substitute thyme and you'll have it made. Do give it a try. It may open the door to all kinds of possibilities. Download Butternut Squash Galette
Butternut Squash Galette (adapted from Epicurious.com)
1 – 2 pound butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 leeks, white and pale green part only
Prepared pastry for single crust pie
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage leaves
6 ounces soft mild goat’s cheese (Montrachet)
Coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat oven to 500. Peel, seed and slice butternut squash into thin quarter inch pieces. Spray sheet pans with cooking spray and arrange squash slices in a single layer onto sheet pan. Drizzle with a 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until golden brown on the edges and undersides – about 20 minutes. Watch closely the last few minutes as once it starts to caramelize, it’ll burn very quickly. Remove from oven and cool.
Meanwhile, cut leeks in half and run under cool water. Slice crosswise into thin slices. Heat remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add leeks, cover and cook over medium heat until transparent – about 10 minutes. Cool and set aside.
To assemble galette – roll pastry out on a sheet of parchment into 13 inch round. Transfer pastry and parchment to baking sheet. Sprinkle pastry with chopped sage leaves, then and arrange filling in the center of the dough, leaving a 2 to 3 inch border. Layer cooked squash, crumbled goat’s cheese and leeks. Sprinkle with coarse ground black pepper. Fold dough in towards center pleating as necessary. Brush edges with heavy cream. Bake at 375 for 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is cooked through. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.