Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette    | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette | Image: Laura Messersmith

The snow is still deep in Central Park, but winter seems to be easing its grip on the city; the banks along the street are beginning to recede leaving a trail of gritty treasure behind. Which means (if we’re lucky!) that spring is on its way and it’s time to get as many of the the cold weather recipes I’ve been thinking of out of my system – including this Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette.

This recipe for a gratin written by Kimberley Hasselbrink was my introduction to the combination of butternut squash, Gruyere and toasted hazelnuts and quickly became a favorite. The rich nutty flavor of the cheese emphasized by the hazelnuts and paired with the deep roasted flavor of the caramelized onions and butternut squash is amazing.

I’ve been focused on improving my pie crust game in 2015 and combining this filling with a whole wheat crust seemed like a match made in heaven. I love the toasty flavor of the whole wheat, and the rustic appearance of a galette (or crostata if you prefer) fits beautifully with this earthy, but elegant dish.

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette    | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette | Image: Laura Messersmith

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette (serves: 4-6 people)

Pastry Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup very cold water

Filling Ingredients:
2 pounds butternut squash
1 cup (1 medium) yellow onion
1/4 cup whole hazelnuts (or 1/8 cup chopped)
1/4 pound Gruyere, grated
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pastry Instructions:
Dice the cold unsalted butter into small cubes and measure the water. Replace both in the refrigerator while you set up and measure the remaining ingredients. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade place the whole wheat flour and kosher salt. Pulse a few times to mix.

Add the diced, cold butter to the food processor and toss gently in the flour to coat. Watch your fingers! Replace the cover and pulse about 10-15 times until the butter is the size of peas and evenly distributed in the flour.

Lastly, slowly pour the ice water through the feed tube of the processor while pulsing the blade. As soon as the dough begins to pull together into a crumbly ball, stop pulsing the processor. Turn the pieces of dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the wrap to press into a single flat disc. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour until it becomes firm.

Filling Instructions:
Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

While the dough chills, peel the butternut squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard (or keep if you want to toast them!) Slice both halves into semi-circles about 1/3 inch wide.

Place the butternut squash pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toss with the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt and black pepper. Make sure the pieces are evenly coated and have space on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees F turning the pieces over halfway through.

Peel and slice the onions into thin rings or half-moons. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium sauté pan over very low heat and cook the onions for 20-25 minutes until they soften and caramelize, stirring occasionally.

Toast the whole hazelnuts for 3-5 minutes in a small dry sauté pan. Keep a close watch on the nuts; shimmy the pan periodically to turn and prevent them from burning. Allow to cool and then very roughly chop to your taste. Grate or chop the gruyere.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F.

To assemble, roll the chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and 7-8 inches in diameter. Place the dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and layer the gruyere, roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, toasted hazelnuts in the middle leaving a 1 – 1 ½ inch border. Sprinkle the layers with the fresh thyme leaves.

Fold a section of the dough border up to partially cover the filling and overlapping the extra to form pleats. Press the folds gently together and brush with the beaten egg.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time, until the crust is golden and the butternut squash is tender.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Inspired by and partially adapted from Butternut Squash Gratin by Kimberley Hasselbrink for Etsy.

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette    | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette | Image: Laura Messersmith

Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes, with a little organization. For the pastry I used a 6 cup food processor (a large bowl and a pastry cutter, or even two butter knives will work too), a rolling pin, and measuring cups and spoons. For the filling and to finish the galette I used a large cutting board, chef’s knife, medium sauté pan, two baking sheets, a vegetable peeler, and wooden spatula. Parchment paper is also super helpful with clean up, or if you want to re-use a baking sheet.

The Verdict:
I’d like to pretend that I sat down very genteelly and had a piece of Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette with a beautiful salad and a glass of sauvignon blanc like a grown-up. But really midway through taking the photos for this post I couldn’t resist the warm toasty whole wheat pastry wrapped around the mellow squash and caramelized onions. So, there I was standing over the table with a wedge of galette in one hand and the camera in the other. If you were here when it came out of the oven you wouldn’t blame me – I hope! This reheats in the oven nicely, so if there happen to be leftovers you’ll still be able to enjoy them the next day.

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Butternut Squash & Gruyere Galette | Image: Laura Messersmith