Apple Onion & Butternut Squash Tart

And now we are at the last of our apples.  Thanks apples, you had a good run.  We made Very Lazy Fall Apple Butter, an apple crumble, Butternut Squash & Apple Soup, Apple Onion Spicy Chutney and for the finale, this Apple Onion & Butternut Squash Tart.  Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner or cut into thin slices for a great appetizer – I bet it would go fabulously with a dry prosecco.  This is a super versatile and delicious tart.  The onions, apple and squash cook down to form a great caramelized base that contrasts nicely with the buttery/herbed crust and the salty cheese.

Apple Onion & Butternut Squash Tart

Inspired by this Martha Stewart recipe, I decided to bust out our Rosemary Tart Dough used in the Tomato Tart recipe (scroll down for the tart dough part).

Apple Onion & Butternut Squash Tart

Ingredients:

  • 5 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ cubes and roasted (we had this leftover from the soup, you can add the cubes in when you add the apples to save you a step, I’m sure it will be fine)
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • apple cider (vegetable broth or water would do in a pinch)
  • 1 Rosemary Tart Dough
  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese

To Do:

  1. Make your Rosemary Tart dough and be sure to refrigerate it overnight or for at least a couple of hours.
  2. Heat up the olive oil in a large pot and add the onions.  Cook until softened, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the apples (and butternut squash if it’s not roasted) and 1/4 cup apple cider or water.  Let everything simmer with a lid on the pot until caramelized, about 30 minutes.  Give it a stir every now and then and add more cider or water so nothing gets burned.  Give it a taste.  Taste good?  Great?  Need more salt and/or pepper, season away!
  4. Heat oven to 375F.  Roll out your tart dough and press into a tart pan (f you have leftover dough roll them into twists, sprinkle with parm and bake them – extra treat!).  Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork a few times.  If you have some spicy chutney, spread it along the bottom and bake for about 10 minutes.  If you don’t, sprinkle the bottom with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino and bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the tart dough from oven and pile on the onion/apple/squash mixture.  Spread evenly throughout the pan and top with some more cheese.  Your call on how much cheese – remember these are salty cheeses.
  6. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until the tart dough and cheese are a beautiful golden brown.

 


Butternut Soup Accomplished

The earlier post on butternut squash soup managed to convince us of what we should have for dinner tonight.

We used the roasting method and also, we rinsed the seeds from the squash and toasted them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  They made a nice, crunchy garnish.


Fall Means Butternut Squash

With the cold weather suddenly descending on New York, it seems like a good time to swing into our fall recipes in earnest.  During our recent apple-picking trip, we also bought a butternut squash – a core piece of autumn produce.  We’ve posted a number of good butternut recipes over the lat few years, but looking back over our archives I was surprised not to find a post on what is probably our quintessential use for this gourd: butternut squash soup.  Ubiquitous, yes, but also delicious, easy, and requiring very few ingredients.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 large onion, chopped

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

olive oil

salt and pepper

vegetable broth (but water works too)

Really, the hardest part of this whole recipe is preparing the squash itself.  I have yet to find a peeling method that doesn’t seem more difficult than it should be.  Once you’ve got it peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes, you can go one of two routes.  The easiest possible cooking method is to start by cooking the onions in the soup pot (with olive oil, salt and pepper, until translucent), then add several cups of broth or water, dump in the squash, bring to a boil, then cook until the squash is soft.

However, if you want to go the extra mile, you can roast the squash cubes in the oven (still with olive oil, maybe even adding some rosemary or sage) until they get brown, cook the onions and broth as described above, and then add the squash to the broth already cooked.  This method will generally produce a richer-tasting soup in my experience.

In either case, you end up with cooked squash and onion in hot broth, which you then want to blend.  We have an immersion blender which is ideal for the job, but you could also transfer to a blender or food processor in batches.  Serve it with a crispy bread.

This is one of those recipes that we tend to eyeball, rather than having exact measurements.  Some trial and error will get you to a point where you know what ratios of onion, squash, and broth you want to use in order to get a blended soup with your preferred consistency.


Red Quinoa with Butternut Squash

Okay, so I delayed quite a bit in posting this dinner from last week. We had some butternut squash that a friend brought over. Tina roasted it up with some olive oil and rosemary and then set it aside for later use. That use ended up being as accompaniment to some red quinoa. I sauteed some onions in olive oil, then added the quinoa, that was cooked with salt, pepper, and cumin, plus the squash, fresh parsley (diced) and some slivered almonds.


Butternut Squash Puree

Maybe you’re a bit tired of gourds and vegetable mashes after the holiday season, but this is a terrific recipe for a simple, lighter alternative to your typical sweet potatoes with marshmallow. Plus, the recipe features bourbon whiskey, which is always good for bonus points

Butternut Squash Puree

2 medium butternut squashes, halved with seeds removed
olive oil
bourbon
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper, plus a little olive oil over the open sides of the squashes, then roast on a baking pan until soft enough to pierce with a fork.
3. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl, add about 1/2 shot of bourbon (a little more if you’re feeling sassy), and maybe another tablespoon of olive oil.
4. Blend until smooth. You could also just use a fork if you don’t have a mixer.


*Addendum: Butternut Squash Casserole

Not expecting much, I made this the other night and it exceeded my expectations.  Really good as a dinner with a salad on the side or equally delicious for breakfast the next day.  It was hard to decide whether the leftovers should be breakfast or lunch.

I got the original recipe from the NY Times and tweaked it a bit (used goat cheese instead of Gruyere, 4 eggs instead of 3 and soymilk).  I also roasted the squash the day before since our oven was being used for something or other and baking it before hand really cut the prep time…a lot.  Enjoy!

Weekly spending: $1.77 (head of lettuce and daikon radish)

*As a commenter noted, this can be sweet (some squashes are sweet than others and butternut squash gets nice and sweet if you roast it), and I actually added a LOT of parsley and a bit of chopped spinach to the mixture as well.


Quinoa Squash Gratin

Quinoa Squash Gratin

My weird idea on a Rosh Hashannah take on kugel (I know, it has nothing to do with it, but I wasn’t about to run out for egg noodles), this Quinoa Squash Gratin is delicious and easy to make!  Looking back, the quinoa squash mixture would make excellent croquettes.  Something to think about for the future!

Here is the original recipe.  I ended up using an acorn squash and steaming it instead of the plastic bag trick…not so into using plastic in the microwave.  A mix of Monterrey jack and cheddar subbed for the Gruyere and I used 2 eggs in place of the “egg substitute”.  I also keep a jar full of toasted bits of bread in the fridge and just whirred some of that in the food processor to make bread crumbs—conventional breadcrumbs or panko would be great as well.

For croquettes, I would mix everything up to the point you’re supposed to put it in the baking dish and then form into patties, roll in breadcrumbs and bake.  They would make great appetizers with an herb dipping sauce (parsley, cilantro, garlic, cayene, paprika, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil blended in food processor).


Sage and Lemon Infused Gin

Our community garden has an overabundance of sage at the moment.  A lot of the things we often cook with sage are more autumnal fare – butternut squash, potato and seitan stew,etc.  Being, as we are, in the middle of a heatwave, we decided to infuse some (cheap) gin with sage leaves and and lemon peel.  We’ll let it sit for a few days, and by the end of the weekend, we should be able to have some herbaceous martinis or something.

Maybe you have some summery sage food recipes, so that we can get a little something in our stomachs along with our cocktails.


Pasta with Broccoli and Roasted Squash

This dish involved a couple different elements that were cooked separately and then combined at the end. First, I roasted a cubed butternut squash with olive oil and fresh thyme (plus S&P). Meanwhile, I heated water for pasta (we used egg linguine). When the squash was getting towards done, I sauteed broccoli, also in olive oil, with some lemon juice, chopped parsley, and a bit of parmesan, tossing some chick peas into the pan after a couple of minutes.

Once the squash nice and tender, the broccoli lightly cooked but still crisp, and the chickpeas slightly browned, they all got piled on the pasta with some more fresh parsley, and extra pinch of parmesan, and some sunflower kernels.


Lacinato Salad: A New Spin

We love our raw kale at $30/Week and found a new recipe that married the bitterness of kale with the sweetness of butternut squash and richness of the goat cheese.  Thanks to our friend Robin, who made a version that we later attempted at home.

Lacinato & Butternut Squash Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 butternut squash (peeled, cut into small cubes)
  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale (washed, ribbed and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely
  • juice of one lemon
  • glug of olive oil (1-2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs, optional

To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and place the squash cubes on parchment lined paper.  Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until well roasted.  In the meantime, prep the kale, juice the lemon, etc.
  2. Place chopped kale in a large bowl and add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Massage the kale for about 5 minutes with your washed hands.  Really massage the kale – it’ll help break it down and make it more palatable if you’re not into raw kale (you will be!!).
  3. Throw in the rest of the ingredients and gently toss.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Add breadcrumbs if desired.  Enjoy!