Savory Squash Tart

Savory Squash Tart

PAIRED WITH: Soter Vineyards Estates Chardonnay

Prepare the dough first. Using a food processor, sift the flours and the salt. With the food processor running, add your cubed, ice cold butter and pulse until incorporated. It’s important your butter is cold, and you don’t overwork the dough. Slowly drizzle in the ice water and mix until just combined. Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface and gently bring it together and form into a disk. You can drizzle in a little more ice water as needed to get the dough to come together but don’t overdo it. The flour will hydrate and continue to absorb more water as it rests. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. Dough can also be frozen but make sure it has time to rest in the fridge before freezing.

For the filling: melt the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan. Sauté the onions and garlic on medium-low heat until translucent. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking, slowing caramelizing the onions and garlic. Scrape the bottom of the pan continuously to incorporate the fond (the browned bits that form on the bottom of the pan) into the onions. Be patient! Proper caramelized onions are melted and not at all burned. Have a glass of wine and don’t rush the process. Be sure they are well seasoned (err on the side of more salt here for this purpose). Once your onions are a nice warm brown color and taste sweet, set them aside to completely cool.

Once cool, stir in the cold crème fraı̂che and set aside. Place in fridge while you wait to use it.

Meanwhile, peel and seed the squash. {If you are feeling ambitious or have kids that love to help in the kitchen, separate the seeds from the squash guts and rinse thoroughly. Dry them, toss with olive oil, and salt, and bake at two hundred degrees until lightly browned and crunchy. Enjoy as a delicious snack!} Using a mandolin or knife, slice the squash into 1/8-inch slices (erring on the thicker side) starting on the short side of the squash. Set aside.

Assemble the tart. Pull your tart dough from the fridge and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Roll tart out into a 1/8” thick circle. Add more flour as needed so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin or counter. Use a bench scraper to help you flip the tart dough and move it around so it’s easier to achieve a circle (don’t stress if your circle is not perfect!). The circle of dough should fit (or hang over just a little) on a half sheet tray or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or baking silpat. If this takes you a while, or the kitchen is warm, refrigerate the dough again before baking.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the onion mixture onto the dough, leaving at least a 1/2 inch around all edges of the circle. Toss the squash with salt, pepper, and chopped thyme. Arrange the squash slices neatly on top of the onion. Slightly overlap the pieces of squash. Now, fold the edges of the tart to create a beautiful crust. Start with the edge closest to you. Grab a 1-2” section and fold it up over the edge of the squash. Then, grab the next section and fold it up, but make sure it overlaps the first, and this time, fold it slightly on an angle. Repeat until you have the entire edges folded. You can gently press the dough to make sure it stays in place.

Whip your egg yolk with a little cream or water and brush it onto the edge of the tart. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake the tart 45-60 minutes, rotating halfway through. Bake until golden brown.

While the tart is baking, place 1/4# of butter in a sauce pot over low-medium heat. Cook the butter until the milk solids have cooked off and begin to brown on the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes. Add the walnuts and remove the butter from the heat. When you are ready to serve, strain the nuts from the warm butter. If the butter has started to solidify, simply put it back on the heat.

Once the tart is golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, brown butter walnuts, and shaved Comté cheese. Can be served room temperature.