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Roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion tart

I have fond memories of a Thanksgiving dinner celebrated in London so many years ago. One of my managers at the time was American and graciously hosted a spectacular dinner at her home near Marylebone for her American friends and a host of curious Brits.

I was vegetarian at the time and my contribution to the feast was a roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion tart, a recipe I found on Epicurious.com. It was a terribly involved recipe (at least for me, at the time) and required pastry (which I avoid like the plague), but the results were so festive and delicious, I hardly missed the turkey.

These days, I am back to eating turkey but I still like to make this tart at least once a year during the holiday season. This year, I made it the day before Thanksgiving as a tasty reminder of that one Thanksgiving meal so many years ago. If you’re looking for a pretty dish to please vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, try this!

Roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion tart

pastry dough
pie weights or raw rice for weighting shell
1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil plus about 2 teaspoons for brushing squash
1 small onion
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 whole large egg
1/2 large egg yolk (1/2 tablespoon)
1/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated Italian Fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup crumbled mild soft goat cheese (about 1 ounce)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and marjoram leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs

On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 12-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). Fit dough into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim. Freeze shell 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights or raw rice.

Bake shell in middle of oven until edge is pale golden, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights or rice and bake shell 10 minutes more, or until bottom is golden. Leave oven on. Cool shell in pan on a rack. Halve squash and scoop out seeds. Lightly brush each cut side with about 1 teaspoon oil and on a baking sheet roast squash, cut sides down, in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until soft.

While squash is roasting, thinly slice onion and in a heavy skillet cook in 1/2 tablespoon butter and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool squash and scoop out flesh.

In a food processor purée squash. Add whole egg, egg yolk, and cream and blend well. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in cheeses, herbs, onion, salt, and pepper to taste.

Pour filling into shell, smoothing top. In a small skillet melt remaining tablespoon butter and stir in bread crumbs until combined well. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over filling. Bake tart in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool tart in pan on rack 10 minutes and carefully remove rim.

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Posted on 26, November 2012, in Food and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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