Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Harvest Galette (with Gruyere, Acorn Squash, and Caramelized Onions)

While reading through the November issue of Cooking Light, the crust from this Walnut Crusted Apple Pie intrigued me. I liked the idea of using walnuts for part of the fat and, of course, for a yummy, nutty flavor. And when I came across this Buckwheat Harvest Tart, thought I’d take the filling from the harvest tart and the crust from the apple pie.

But it called for vodka which I didn’t have and didn’t feel like buying, so instead I used a combination of water, apple cider vinegar, and red wine vinegar, based on reviews and other sources. And left out the brown sugar since this is a savory dish. And added thyme. And used whole wheat flour. Well, I must have made too many substitutions, because the resulting dough tasted nasty. Not even just not good. But downright bad.

And it was crumbly and rock-hard.

Fortuitously, I happened to have a roll of Pillsbury pie dough left over from last week’s chicken pot pie. While that tasted great—and I was grateful that it just happened to be hanging out in my fridge—I think this galette's filling is deserving of a nice, hearty, whole wheat crust.

So in the recipe below I’m including the crust from a galette from Naturally Ella which I have succeeded in making. In fact, do yourself a favor and make her galette some time because it is superb!

As is this galette. I'm not even sure how to describe the explosion of flavors, because I don't think my words will do it justice. My mouth is still trying to figure out what just happened. The end result was well worth the failed crust attempt, the pricey gruyere, the long time it took to make this baby, and the giant mess that resulted in my kitchen.

Sadly, it looks a bit like it's made of plastic
Harvest Galette

Adapted from Eats Well with Others and Naturally Ella
Yield: 4-6 servings

Crust Ingredients
1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. butter, chilled
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, chilled
1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice water

Filling Ingredients
1 small acorn squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 leek, thinly sliced and rinsed well
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, coarsely chopped (I used baby spinach)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (I was afraid and left this out, adding a tiny sprinkle of cayenne in its place)
1 small yellow onion
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 eggs (or 3 eggs and 1 egg white)
1 cup (4 oz.) grated gruyere

In a food processor (or a medium bowl) combine flour and salt for crust. Pulse (or cut) in butter. Once butter is mostly into small chunks, pulse (or cut) in cream cheese. Once butter and cream cheese are in pea-sized pieces, pulse in 1/4 cup of water until dough begins to come together (adding extra water, a Tablespoon at a time, as needed). Remove from food processor and shape into a disc (without handling the dough too much). Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees; line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringiness. Then cut into wedges (I used each groove in the squash as a cut line, ending up with about 9 wedges). Drizzle 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil over the squash and use your hands to make sure each wedge is nicely coated. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Bake 20-25 minutes, until squash begins to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 (or turn it off and re-preheat it when you start mixing everything together below).

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute, then add the leeks and saute another minute. Add the chard (or spinach) and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until chard is wilted, about 5 minutes. Pour into a colander and allow to cool.

Peel and halve the onion, then thinly slice it. Return your skillet to the burner over medium heat with another 1/2 Tbsp. oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized. When the onions are golden and caramelized, stir in the balsamic vinegar and remove from heat.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off with your hands, then cut the wedges into smallish cubes. Transfer to a small bowl and toss with an additional 1/4 tsp. each salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together three of the eggs. When the leeks and chard are cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid from it and add to the large bowl with the eggs. Whisk together, then whisk in 3/4 of the cheese, the caramelized onions, and a few grinds of pepper. Gently stir in 3/4 of the squash.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out your galette dough into a 12- to 14-inch circle and transfer to a round pizza pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the filling over the crust, leaving a two-inch border all the way around. Scatter remaining squash over the top, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Fold up the crust dough, overlapping as you go around (see picture). Beat remaining egg (or egg white) and brush over the crust.

Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes, until egg is set and crust is browned. After removing from oven, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. My crust didn't seem to be browning as quickly as the filling, so I ended up covering the middle with foil about 40 minutes into the baking time.

  • Even with the store-bought crust, this galette was stellar. I think it'd better with the homemade whole wheat crust above, but you could certainly use a store-bought one and be just fine.
  • I'd be interested in trying this again with Swiss chard. The store didn't have any, and I didn't feel like making a special trip to a different store for one ingredient, so that's why I used spinach.
  • I didn't miss the red pepper flakes. This was plenty flavorful, though if you like your food spicy, I can imagine the red pepper flakes would be a welcome addition.
  • It reheated well. I zapped leftovers for a couple minutes in the microwave (70% power), then stuck in the oven (350) for 5 minutes to crisp up the crust.
  • This galette deserves a better name than "Harvest Galette." Any suggestions?
From MyFitnessPal, using homemade crust,
for 4 servings rather than 6. Changing it to 6
servings would make it 450 calories per serving.

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