There are days to act quickly, then there are days to take a moment and take your time. This Butternut Squash and Carmelized Onion Galette offers an option to suit your perspective on any given day. There is no one star for this dish. It is the melange of sweet and tender vegetables combined with the earthy twang and texture of the za’atar spice blend that make this Butternut Squash and Carmelized Onion Galette taste special.
Butternut squash is sliced thinly and roasts quickly in the oven. The sliced onions simmer all day in a slow cooker, no tending required. I include a recipe for a pie crust since it is my obsession right now. Making a pie crust takes a little extra time and certainly a bit more effort, but not much. While it is convenient and simple to make things quickly, there is a satisfaction to activities that take time and involve effort. If time does not allow, then a store-bought pie crust is absolutely fine, as is prepared pizza dough. The easiest option is store-bought flatbreads or pita, toasted to support the weight of the toppings.
Making a pie crust is a simple assembly of ingredients but it is the little details that make the difference between a crust with a soft crumble and one that better resembles a tough, thick rind. Using a European-style butter, like Kerrygold, is key as it has a much lower water content. A good crust has a high fat content combined with organic flour. I like to also add an egg yolk as it makes the dough easier to work with. Another key detail that makes a huge difference is using butter straight from the freezer and a little ice water to pull the dough together. Using a food processor makes the entire process very simple. Please do try it when you have 20 minutes.
I use a Za’atar by Tyme Foods from the Great Falls Farmer’s Market. It is an amazing spice blend that is addictive. It packs a punch with the pungent, almost floral aroma of wild thyme, combined with the crunch of sesame seed, and a touch of sumac, which has a lemony vibe that makes this spice blend sing. There also is sea salt so it needs no further seasoning. Za’atar is most commonly blended into olive oil and used as a dip with bread, which is basically what we are doing with our galette. I’ve also used it as a rub on beef tenderloin, chicken breasts and fish with amazing results.
Tyme Foods’ Za’atar spice blend is available online or at the Great Falls Farmers Market on Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., located at 9818 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA.
To learn more about Za’atar, click here.
- 1 butternut squash
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large onions
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons duck fat (no really, you must try!) or unsalted butter or olive oil
- 2 cups organic flour (or 1½ cups white flour and ½ cup whole wheat flour)
- 2 sticks (8 oz.) frozen European-style unsalted butter (usually two sticks are combined into one slab of butter in the European style. I use Kerrygold.)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 Tablespoons ice water
- 2 Tablespoons Za'atar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Peel and slice onions, melt butter or duck fat and toss with the onions, add to your slow cooker and stir in sugar and salt. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Or, you can cook slowly over medium low heat and give a stir every once in a while until the onion soften and slowly turn soft and brown, about 40 minutes.
- Using the food processor fitted with the shredding blade, shred butter into the bowl. Switch blades to the regular blade, add flour and salt and pulse until the flour and butter become like a course, pebbly meal, add the egg yolk and pulse. Slowly add the ice water until it starts to come together. If you squeeze it with your hands, it will hold into a ball. Dump onto a large sheet of saran wrap, shape and pat into a disk, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- When ready to make your galette, remove from fridge for about 10 minutes, place onto a silicone pastry sheet or any pastry board, or just your kitchen counter. Sprinkle the surface with flour. Cut the dough in half and roll it out into about a 9-inch circle. Fold in half and transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel the butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard seeds.
- Slice into thin slices and spread out in a single layer on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until tender.
- In a small bowl, add the olive oil and za'atar and stir to combine.
- Spread half the mixture in the center of one 9-inch pastry or pie crust round, leaving a 2-inch border. Gently fold the pastry in just over the edge of the za'atar, and press as you go around the pastry circle.
- If using, pita or flat bread, spread the za'atar mixture leaving just a ¼ inch border.
- Regardless of your base, top with carmelized onions, then the butternut squash.
- Bake at 375 degrees until the crust begins to turn brown.