This is one of my favorite cold-weather dishes. The cheese and sweet squash make an intriguing combination, and a yeasted dough is particularly good here. You might serve this with the Watercress Salad with Slivered Endive.
- Yeasted Tart Dough with Olive Oil (see below)
- 2 1/2 pounds winter squash, such as butternut
- 1 small head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the squash
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 12 fresh sage leaves, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan
- Salt and freshly milled pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
Yeasted Tart Dough with Olive Oil:
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups flour, as needed
1. Make the dough. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and brush the cut surface with oil. Stuff the garlic into the cavities and place the squash cut side down on a sheet pan. Bake until the flesh is tender, about 40 minutes. Scoop out the squash and squeeze the garlic cloves. Mash them together with a fork until fairly smooth, leaving some texture.
2. Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sage and cook until the onion is soft and beginning to color, about 12 minutes. Add it to the squash along with the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste
3. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle and spread the filling over it, leaving a border of 2 inches or more. Pleat the dough over the filling, then brush the edges with beaten egg. Bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes.
Yeasted Tart Dough with Olive Oil
Makes one 9-, 10-, or 11-inch tart, pie or galette, 6 to 8 individual shells
1. The egg contributes to the strength and suppleness of the dough. If you don't eat eggs, leave it out and add an additional 3 tablespoons water with 1 tablespoon oil.
2. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water in a medium bowl and let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the oil, egg, and salt, then stir in the flour. When the dough is too stiff to work with a spoon, turn it onto the counter and knead until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.
4. Add more flour if necessary to keep it from sticking. Set the dough in an oiled bowl, turn it over to coat, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to an hour.
5. Turn the dough out. Roll it into a thin circle and use it to line a tart or pie pan or to make a free-form galette.
Note: For individual tarts, divide it into 6 pieces, shape into balls, and let rest under a towel for 15 minutes before rolling them out.