POctober 28, 2014
Early fall must be one of the best times at the market. The farmers still have the last of their summer produce before any frosts signal the end of the tomatoes and zucchini. Sometimes, depending on the year’s weather, peaches might still grace the tables. Grapes and apples and pears overflow across thin wooden pint boxes. And big winter squash fill up bins in all their different shapes and sizes. Depending on the market, a number of stalls might offer up freshly pressed apple cider. What’s not to love? And to top it off: hat and sweater weather.
I couldn’t help but grab a large butternut squash earlier this week along with a few onions, knowing I’d make this galette when I could find the time when Etta slept. I’ve constructed this mostly from two sources: Smitten Kitchen’s lovely squash and caramelized onion galette, and from Deborah Madison’s winter squash galette in her excruciatingly good Vegetarian Cooking for Anyone. Put simply: roast squash, caramelize onion, make dough. Combine roasted squash and onion with grated cheese and herbs. Load up dough and bake. For me, I like a little more funk with my cheese. Bleu cheese works great here, but I went with gruyere this time for more nuttiness, which worked out well with the handful of sage leaves I had leftover in the fridge. Fresh thyme or rosemary would also work wonderfully. I’m sure some minced tarragon would also be delicious or some winter savory.
You could go different directions with the dough—flaky, or, as I did, bready. Madison has a wonderfully simple yeasted dough recipe that is easy, simple, and fast. I’m not sure about you, but I’m often not a huge fan of cutting butter into flour. Especially when this other dough is so easy.
Galette details: I sliced up an onion and a half and tossed them into our cast iron with a slick of canola oil. After they cooked down for a few minutes, I added a few dots of butter and a healthy pinch of salt. I continued cooking them for about 25 minutes.
For the squash, I used a butternut as much for ease as anything, and simply peeled and diced it, dressing it with just olive oil and salt before throwing it into a preheated 375 F onion for about 30 minutes.
The time might have been less on the squash but I was also roasting a few bell peppers for use this week. Also, nearly any winter squash would work for this galette. Kabocha, red kuri, buttercup—whatever you have or whatever catches your eye at the market. I would aim though for a larger one around two pounds so there’s enough to fill up the dough once it’s peeled and seeds removed. As the squash roasts and onions caramelize, throw the dough together. Mix the yeast (two tsp) with the sugar (1/2 tsp) with warm water (1/2 cup). Let it foam up over ten minutes before adding a beaten egg, 3 tbl olive oil, ½ tsp salt and whisking that together. Mix in 1 ¾ cup flour until it come together enough to dump it out and knead by hand for a few minutes. I always have to add a little extra flour, but it will probably depend on how you measure your flour. Either way, if it’s sticky, then add flour. Knead until you get a nice smooth ball. Set it in a bowl, oil it all around, and let it rise until doubled. You know the drill. It should take about 45-60 minutes.
The onions and squash should be done and cooled by the time the dough is ready. Mix the herbs, onions, squash, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and grated cheese (I used about 1/3 pound gruyere). Roll out the dough to about 14 inches. Dump the mixture into the center and spread out to within two inches of the border. Fold over the dough in sections. Make a quick egg wash and brush down the dough. I like to sprinkle just a little salt just before putting it into a pre-heated 375 F oven for 25-30 minutes.
Easy peasy. If you happen to have a toddler, then you can hope, like we did, that your toddler will like it. She didn’t even if we did.
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