Sunday, November 16, 2014

Free-form Butternut Squash and Sautéed Onion Tart

I prepared  this tart on the fly, since I had some butternut squash and onions which were already sautéed.  I was actually in between chauffeuring my son to soccer practice, so I had very little time to put this together. Thankfully, I  usually have puff pastry sheets in my freezer (for these types of food emergencies) which, at the drop of a hat, can be thawed, unfolded and topped it with some kind of filling, whether be sautéed onions and cheese, or various combinations of pureed vegetables in a cream and egg mixture.  This time I made a simple free form tart with thin slices of the squash, topped with the onions, and then the cheese.


1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (I used Trader Joe’s)
½ butternut squash, peeled  
1 small red onion and 1 small sweet onion
about 1 cup of freshly shredded fontina cheese and fresh mozzarella cheese,  or another melting cheese, or combination of your choice
olive oil-enough to coat the bottom of a pan
sea salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Peel the onions, and cut into thin slices. Add  the olive oil to a medium pan, heat on medium, then add the sliced onion.  Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally (about 10-15 minutes), covered about ⅔ of the cooking time. If necessary, add about ⅓ cup of water and allow to evaporate. Once cooked, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

If using the bulb section of the squash, then you must seed it before slicing. In this recipe, I used the solid neck section, because that is what I had handy.  So I cut the squash neck into
⅕  inch-thick round slices with slicer (you can also use a very sharp knife).

Unfold the thawed pastry gently, and if you see any tears or holes, use your fingers—and a little water if necessary—to gently squeeze the pastry back together.  If the dough appears to stick together, put it back in the refrigerator to cool, before attempting to roll it out again.

Lay the unfolded pastry square on a floured surface, and rub some flour on a rolling pin, which you will use to roll out the square to the desired thinness (but not too thin).  Roll the dough out with gentle outward motions.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and carefully lay the thinned pastry dough on it, and with a fork  prick the surface of the dough (like you would a regular pie crust).
Cover the pastry sheet with  overlapping  squash slices, leaving about 1 to 1 ½ inch of area on each side and sprinkle with sea salt.
Spoon the sauteed onions (after draining off any of sautéeing liquid) evenly over the squash
Sprinkle with the shredded cheese, and fold the edges of the dough over to cover about 1 inch of the filling. You may also drizzle your filling with a tiny amount of extra virgin olive oil.

Bake at 350F until golden brown (about 30 minutes).

Slightly cool and serve.

May be refrigerated for up to 3 days,  and reheated.

For a vegan option, use vegan puff pastry and omit the cheese, or use a vegan cheese of your choice.

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