This butternut squash galette with goat cheese is an elegant, rustic tart. It’s perfect for both novice and more advanced cooks, and works well as a fall or winter party appetizer. You can prepare the dough and filling up to two days beforehand, then bake everything before guests arrive! Your kitchen will smell amazing.
We had many requirements at culinary school, one of which was to assist three recreational cooking classes. I loved doing this and volunteered often.
On one particular evening, I assisted a pastry class where the students were making an assortment of tarts. The chef described a galette as a “rustic tart” and then smirked, stating:
“I love the word ‘rustic’. It means it doesn’t have to be pretty.”
Looking back, I both agree and disagree with this statement. When using tart molds, I often spend a lot of time making sure the dough is perfectly formed.
Patience and practice yields a stunning result. Galettes are much easier, and their imperfections are what make them beautiful, in my opinion.
They’re great for beginners and experts alike. I’ve noted in the recipe that you can substitute store-bought pie dough, but if you’ve been hesitant to try working with homemade dough, I think galettes are the perfect place to start.
This butternut squash galette recipe has a wonderful balance of flavors, and is perfect for entertaining. The shallots and goat cheese are savory and rich.
You can get anywhere from 6-8 servings, depending on how big you want your slices and how much additional food is being served.
- Suggestion for easy entertaining: Make the dough and filling in advance (up to two days), then roll and bake before guests arrive. Both can be covered and stored in the refrigerator.
- Butter temperature is always an important factor to keep in mind when working with dough. If the butter is warm, the dough will become sticky and difficult to manage. If the butter is too cold, the dough might crack when you try to roll it. You want to work with chilled dough, but I recommend letting it rest for 3-5 minutes after removing it from the refrigerator.
- When using a food processor to prepare dough, you ideally want the machine running for the least amount of time possible once you add water. This helps create a flaky crust. You can let the dough form a ball, but it result in a tougher crust. If you stop the machine once the ingredients are mixed but still crumbly, you can press them together by hand. I do this while wrapping the dough in plastic wrap.
- One time I made the filling and skipped the galette. It’s freaking amazing over baby arugula.
- Interested in learning more about galettes? Check out this wikipedia article. Then come back and try my Plum Galette with Mascarpone and Rosemary. And my Apple, Cheddar, and Caramelized Onion Galette. You can also make mini galettes! These Mini Zucchini Ricotta Galettes will be the perfect way to welcome back spring.
This butternut squash and goat cheese galette is a beautiful fall appetizer that's great for both beginners and more advanced cooks.
- 6 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 1 1/3 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small pieces
- 2-3 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 small butternut squash (approximately 1 - 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (yellow onions may be substituted)
- 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg, plus more for topping
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage, divided
- 1/4 cup chèvre goat cheese
Add flour and salt to a food processor, pulsing several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse on and off until the mixture is crumbly.
Slowly add the water with the machine running until the dough begins to form a ball (see notes).
Wrap in plastic wrap and press flat into a disc. Chill for at least 30 minutes before using so the butter can firm back up.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Toss the butternut squash in a very light coating of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender. (It will go back in the oven, so it's ok if it's slightly underdone).
While the squash is roasting, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add a thin coating of olive oil to the bottom of the pan, about 1/2 tablespoon. Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly caramelized, stirring and adjusting the heat if needed. Add the pecans and cook for an additional minute, followed by the cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried sage. Continue cooking until the spices are fragrant, then remove from the heat and set aside.
Once the squash has finished roasting, allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then gently toss with the shallot pecan filling (you can use the roasting pan or a large bowl). Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface until approximately 1/2 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to make a circle with the dough that's about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the rolled dough to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. (The best way to do this is to gently roll the dough around the rolling pin, then unroll it on top of the baking sheet).
Spread the roasted butternut squash evenly onto the dough, leaving about 2 inches around the edges. Top evenly with goat cheese, the remaining sage, and a light sprinkle of nutmeg.
- Fold the excess dough on top of the ingredients in a circle, until you have a tightly formed tart.
- Chill for 15 minutes (this helps the dough set and cook evenly).
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the goat cheese is browning and the dough is firm. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.
When using a food processor to make dough, you want the machine running for the least amount of time possible once you add the water. This will help keep the dough flaky. You can let the dough form a ball, but it will be a tougher crust. If you stop the machine once the ingredients are combined and flaky, you can press them together by hand for more tender results. I press them together while wrapping the dough in plastic wrap.
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About the Author
Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.