I thought I would share with you one of my favourite meals, a roasted butternut squash, garlic and cheese galette. If you have never heard of a galette before, it is a rustic, free-form pizza-like tart which can be sweet or savoury.
Butternut squash is my favourite vegetable, especially roasted, and I cook with it A LOT. Damian is probably sick to death of it...but I never get bored, it's so versatile! In this recipe it is paired with roasted garlic, which has a slightly sweet flavour, and creamy ricotta. I topped my galette with mature cheddar cheese, but it is really a matter of personal choice as to what cheese you use; butternut squash works well with goats cheese, but you could also use taleggio, gouda, gorgonzola, or whatever else takes your fancy! The pastry is made with semolina or cornmeal, which gives it a delicate, crumbly texture and you need nothing more than a large green salad to turn this into a satisfying meal (except maybe a glass of something...).
As this recipe is fairly time-consuming to make and I hate waiting for food when I am hungry, I often find it easier to make the pastry and roast the vegetables earlier on in the day, then when it comes to dinner time simply assemble and bake. You can even do this the day before; the pastry will keep for up to 24 hours in the fridge and the vegetables for a day or two.
- 185g (1 + ½ cups) plain flour
- 65g (⅓ cup + 2tbsp) semolina or cornmeal
- 125g (½ cup + 1tsp) unsalted butter, cold
- ½ tsp salt
- 4-5 tbsp iced water
- Large butternut squash, approx 1.5kg unpeeled weight
- 10 garlic cloves, whole, unpeeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp dried sage
- salt and pepper
- 250g (9 oz) tub ricotta
- 100g (3.5 oz) cheese of your choice (mature cheddar, goats cheese, gruyere etc.)
To make the pastry, place the flour, semolina, salt and cubed butter into a food processor and blitz until it resembles sand. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour mixture by hand. With the food processor running, gradually add the cold water until the dough comes together; shape the pastry into a disc, being careful not to over handle it, wrap it in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for at least half an hour, and up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.
Peel the butternut squash, this is easier to do if you chop it into two pieces, separating the narrow part from the round bit; remove the seeds and cut it into thin slices, about 5mm wide. Place the butternut squash slices into a large roasting tin and add the whole unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle over the olive oil, add the herbs and a good grinding of salt and pepper, then give it all a good mix with your hands, making sure it is all evenly coated. Place the tin in the oven and roast for 30-40 mins, until both the butternut squash and garlic are soft, set aside to cool.
Turn the oven down to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
When you are ready to bake the galette, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large circle, about 33cm wide and place it on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper or a silicone liner. Place in the fridge for 15 mins or so.
Peel the garlic cloves and place them in a bowl, mash with a fork then stir in the ricotta and some salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pastry from the fridge and spread the ricotta mixture over it, leaving a 7cm border. Scatter the butternut squash slices over the ricotta, then grate over the cheese. Fold the exposed pastry edges over the filling towards the centre of the galette, pleating the edge to make it fit. No need to worry too much about making it look neat - rustic remember! Then bake for 30-45 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden. Leave to cool slightly before serving.
(Recipe adapted from lorinarlock on Food52)