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A Winter Squash Galette Is the Best Centerpiece

No matter what else you’re serving this holiday season, a winter squash galette is the highlight of the meal.

I was lucky enough to interview one of my food heroes, Deborah Madison, for an article in The Counter this week about her “life with vegetables.”

Her cookbooks guided my earliest cooking experiences in my Seattle kitchen when I was a committed vegetarian. And while I’m no longer a vegetarian by definition, vegetables always come first for me, too.

Deborah Madison’s cookbooks are also responsible, I think, for popularizing a savory pastry dish called a crostata in Italy and a galette in France. Simply put, it’s a crust with a filling–and fruit galettes are popular desserts for any occasion.

Like a flat, free-form pie, a galette isn’t a recipe–it’s path of possibility.

A savory galette gives form to many types of seasonal vegetables. By enfolding it into a crust, you turn a random veg into a main dish or a substantial side dish.

A Savory Winter Squash Galette

This particular recipe is inspired by a winter squash galette I was served for brunch years ago at an inn in Washington state. Flaky pastry enclosed tender chunks of winter squash and sliced sweet onion.

It was such a surprise and a delight, I’ve never forgotten it–though I haven’t made a savory galette in years.

So when my friend Beth brought me a variety of her winter squashes from Backyard Gardens last week {including this adorable buttercup squash}, I started daydreaming of a stellar centerpiece winter squash galette.

What Type of Winter Squash?

There are so many wonderful winter squash varieties to try out. Any type that has a firm flesh, like buttercup, butternut, kabocha, hubbard or pumpkin are my favorites.

Since the winter squash is the main ingredient, it should be deliciously full flavored with a ripeness you can smell when you cut it open.

Acorn squash tends to be too mild flavored as does delicata. And this winter squash galette is not a good use for a spaghetti squash.

For this recipe, I combined my favorite techniques for roasted squash that I flavored with Dijon mustard and fresh sage.

A Make-Ahead Main Dish or Side

Everything so up in the air for Thanksgiving this year. And like many people, I have not planned a big meal or Friendsgiving.

But I did make pie dough to stash in the freezer. If they don’t all become holiday pie, they can become a classic quiche, a pot pie or this winter squash galette for dinner.

The nicest part is that I can prepare the dough and the filling in advance and then assemble it in a few moments with a 30-minute bake.

This winter squash galette can be our main dish with a salad {even the kids are way into kale salads now} or a side dish for a turkey–if we go that route.

No matter what we’re eating, there’s always a place on the table for this savory galette to steal the show.

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What’s the highlight of your holiday table? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Winter Squash Galette with Mustard & Sage

This savory galette is a great way to turn winter squash into supper. Since you don't have to transfer the dough into a pie plate or make neat edges, it's a great way to practice working with pie dough. Serve this galette as a vegetarian main or side dish or as an appetizer for a celebratory meal.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Keyword winter squash galette
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter pastured
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water

For the filling:

  • 4 cups (about 1 pound) winter squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into pieces 1/4-inch thick and about 2 inches long buttercup, kabocha, butternut, pumpkin or other meaty variety
  • 1 large Walla Walla Sweet onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash optional

Instructions

To make the dough:

  1. Whisk the flour and salt in a mixing bowl until well blended. If you do not own a pastry cutter (also called a blender) to cut the butter into the flour, try this: use a box grater to grate the butter, working quickly to prevent warming it with your hands. Add the butter to the flour mixture and use your hands to toss and separate the grated butter and coat the pieces with the flour.

  2. Dribble the water over the flour mixture and use a fork to gently blend it into the flour to make a rough dough. Tip the dough onto the counter and use a dough scraper (also called a bench knife) to gather it together. Press each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill while you prepare the filling. (You can make this dough up to 2 days in advance.)

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the squash and onion with the olive oil, mustard, sage, salt and pepper and arrange on a sheet pan in a single layer. Roast until the onion is translucent and the squash is fork tender but has not browned, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the galette:

  1. On a lightly floured countertop, roll out the dough into a circle about 14 inches across and 1/4 inch thick. Leaving a 3-inch edge, transfer the filling to make an even layer of squash and onions in the center of the dough. Fold the edges over the filling, pleating the dough to form a wide border. Brush the dough with the egg wash, if using.

  2. Slide the galette onto an inverted, ungreased baking sheet. Bake until the crust is deeply golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.

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