Presidents’ Day Weekend: Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

This weekend, my family came from Ohio to visit Joe and me in Milwaukee. Because I had taken some (very needed!) time off work to see them, I also made sure to take time to cook a lot of good food. I used this opportunity to make breakfast every day, since I actually had people to cook for who will eat eggs (Joe does not.) Eggs-in-Purgatory-Style Baked “Huevos Rancheros”; Bacon, Feta, and Scallion Frittata; Breakfast Burritos; I could eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, and midnight snack daily and not get sick of them. However, I know most other people do not share my enthusiasm, so I also made dinner the last 2 nights: a mouth-watering butternut squash galette and an easy! delicious! cheap! black bean soup. The black bean soup I have already made several times over the last couple months and will likely make several more times. The galette – well, I have only made it once before and I admit the only reason I don’t make this all the time is because I fear preparing winter squash. Every time I face my fears though, I realize that it’s really not as difficult as I’m making it out to be and what effort there is, is well worth it in taste. This has become a winter favorite at home.


I could not find a 1 lb butternut squash as the original recipe calls for, so cut a 2lb one in half, then thought it looked like too little, so roasted the other half as well, then worried about it being too much… and all my worrying was for nothing because it turned out just wonderful. I’ve increased the amount of squash in the recipe below to reflect this.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4

1 ¼ c all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces – chilled
¼ c sour cream or plain yogurt (I used Greek style)
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ c ice water

1 butternut squash (mine was about 2lbs)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 extra large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
¾ c fontina or gouda cheese (about 2 oz), cut into small chunks
2 tsp chopped fresh sage leaves

Make the Pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Mix in the chilled butter pieces using 2 knives or a pastry blender until it resembles small pebbles. In a different bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, and water, then pour this over the flour mixture. Stir this in with a spoon or spatula; if necessary, you can bring it together with your hands, but do not overwork the dough. Pat it together in a ball, then wrap it in plastic or put it in a covered bowl and chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Prepare the squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash, halve it, and scoop out the seeds. Cut into chunks about ½ to ¾ inch in size. Pour 1-2 Tbsp olive oil on a large baking sheet, lay the squash chunks on it, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until squash is tender – about 30 minutes. Turn the pieces halfway through so that they brown evenly instead of burning on one side. Set aside.

Caramelize onions: While the squash is roasting, melt the butter and 1 Tbsp oil in a heavy skillet. Cook the onions over medium-low heat with 1 tsp salt. Stir occasionally until the onions are soft and tender and start to take on a light brown color – about 25 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper, if using.

Assemble: Mix squash, onions, cheese, and sage together in a bowl.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 12 inches across, then transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet (I did not have any parchment paper this time, but it seemed to turn out just fine.) Spread the filling in the middle of the dough, leaving 1-2 inches of dough around the border. Fold the border over the squash and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

Bake: approx. 30 minutes in 400 degree oven. When the galette is golden brown, remove it from the oven.  Let it rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving plate and cut it into quarters. You can serve it immediately, or even after it has cooled to room temperature.

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