Wednesday, December 11, 2013

butternut squash galette.

My mom gave me sad news over Thanksgiving.  She had gone through all of her old Gourmets (we are talking about 20 years worth) and gotten rid of them before I had the chance to go through them as well.  I was devastated thinking of all the recipes that were recycled before I was able to deem their worthiness. My consolation prize was that a small stack remained that I proceeded to pour over while Bandit (aka the worlds greatest dog) and I watched the Real Housewives (aren't holidays created so you have an excuse to watch bad TV?).  

This recipe was one of the few that I photocopied to bring home. It sounded simple yet elegant.  The kind of thing a French woman would serve her chic friends for lunch.  (Because don't we all want to pretend we are a chic French woman?) The end result was just as simple and elegant as I imagined.  What I didn't count on was how utterly satisfying it would be.  This is a dish that feels just at home on a lazy Sunday evening with the boy as it does at an fancy Saturday brunch with the girls.  Creamy goat cheese, sweet squash, and tender leeks get tossed together and then encased in a hearty crust.  The whole thing emerges from the oven looking perfectly rustic in that impossibly French way.  It's the epitome of winter comfort food.  

Butternut Squash Galette
Recipe adapted from Gourmet 

For Pastry

¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
4 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For Filling

1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2- by 1/4 -inch slices (4 cups)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt plus a generous pinch for the leeks
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced crosswise
6 ounces soft mild goat cheese, crumbled

Make dough: Pulse flours, butter, sage, and sea salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle ice water evenly over mixture and pulse until it just forms a ball. (Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.) Gently press dough into a 5-inch disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Make filling while dough chills:  Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Toss squash with sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil and arrange in 1 layer in a 17-by 12-inch shallow baking pan or a baking sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Meanwhile, 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, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly. Add squash, goat cheese, the other 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss gently.

Make galette: 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.

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