Butternut Squash Galette

This is a recipe that my good friend Sarah made for me for the first time a few years ago. She has worked as a chef at the Tassajara Buddhist Retreat which is where she perfected this recipe. Before I ate gluten free I ate this version of  a savory galette and could not believe my taste buds. Hearty yet pastry like, savory but herby and sweet with smooth baked mozzarella…it had everything. It also happens to be wonderfully seasonal. So I bust out this recipe every fall into winter around Thanksgiving time. It’s a great appetizer to bring for the big bird meal. It can be a special breakfast or lunch and a perfect solution to those constantly searching for different butternut squash recipes. Rolling your own dough can be tricky so I’ve also thrown in a way to get the same effect but with an already created pastry shell.

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Galette/Pie

CRUST
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All – Purpose flour
3/4 cups butter (frozen)
1 egg
One cup ice water
2 tsp salt

FILLING
One large butternut squash
1/2 cups boccocini fresh mozzarella
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Dash salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup fresh sage (some will be chiffonade and some fried)
1 tblsp olive oil

Make sure to prep your ingredients. Stick the butter in the freezer at least 2 hours ahead of time and also bake your butternut squash. For the really big squash I put it in the oven whole at 425 degrees and let it cook for 20 minutes or so. This will make it soft to easily cut in half. You’ll want to cook it for another 20 minutes after you slice it in half. Make sure you can easily stick a fork in your squash to know that it is done. Then let it cook before you scoop out the seeds, peel it using a pairing knife and slice it into thin chunks.

This is also a good time to fry up your sage. Do so by heating a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkling in your whole sage leaves. Make sure they are towel dried. Frying only takes about 45 seconds on each side, you want the sage to maintain it’s green tone and not get too brown. This process will get you in the wintery food mood. Sage is such a weird herb that makes me think of hippie exorcism of bad vibes from rooms. I vow to explore more of the edible wonders of sage in the future, but for now I still feel that crispy fried sage paired with butternut is nothing short of cosmic, and should only be paired together.

I like to have my squash, mozzarella, parmesan, sages, salt, pepper, ice water and fixin’s all ready before I start with the dough, because once you are wrist deep in the sticky, it’s hard to get anything else done.

Your oven should be pre-heated and set to 400. Make sure you have a clean well floured surface and some extra flour for rubbing on your rolling pin. Start the crust process by grating your butter. I would do this straight into the mixing bowl you want to use to combine your crust ingredients.  Add the flour and salt to your grated butter. With your hands combine the ingredients leaving crumbs and lumps. sprinkle with ice water and combine until it comes together in a ball.  This is a delicate process because you don’t want to warm up and melt the butter but gluten free flour is a little trickier to work with.  I usually make two galettes and just roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Don’t worry if it is crumbly or less than pretty, you can piece it together and it will bake up really well. Once you have a nice surface, fill your galette. Layer with slices of squash interspersed with fresh mozzarella, sage chiffonade, parmesan, then finishe off with a pince of salt and grind of pepper. Leave 2 inches or so of dough for the border. Finish it off with a little more parmesan sprinkles and crumbles fried sage. Transfer your galettes to a greased baking sheet using a thin metal spatula. This can be really tricky, but do it slowly with patience and it will be alright. To finish it off, beat your egg and use a pastry brush to baste the out side of the crust. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until nicely browned. The result is a delightful, flaky yumfest.

I made this recipe specifically to bring as appetizer to a Thanksgiving dinner, but of course, I prepped way too much squash and had extra of all the other ingredients. Luckily, I also had a gluten-free frozen pie shell in the freezer. You can find these pie shells in many natural food stores or online. Directly in the pie shell I mixed about a cup and a half of squash, a half cup of boccocini mozzarella torn, and one beaten egg. Through in some salt, pepper and sage chiffonade. I then sprinkled with grated parmesan and fried sage. It only took about 25 minutes to bake or until the crust was brown. This made more of a hearty pie with less crust, a wonderful lunch or breakfast dish.

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