Squash, Fennel and Taleggio Galette

25 02 2017

I looked in my refrigerator and found a Kabocha squash and a head of fennel and got inspired. This is a classic French style galette, meaning an open-form tart. It is easy to make with store bought puff pastry. The texture and flavor combinations are sublime particularly topped off with the creamy Taleggio. It serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 small squash or pumpkin

5 tbsp. olive oil (you can use flavored oils as well like rosemary olive oil)

1 tsp mace, ground

2 small fennel bulbs

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp fennel pollen or fennel seeds, crushed

1 lb baby spinach

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tsp milk (for an egg wash)

1/2 lb Taleggio cheese, sliced

1 box puff pastry

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Halve the squash, seed it and peel it. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and then into 2 inch pieces. Put in a bowl and toss with half the olive oil, mace and season with salt and pepper. Put out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until tender and slightly caramelized.

Use a peeler to trim off the outer part of the fennel bulb. Cut in half lengthwise and cut out the core. Cut them into 1/2 inch wedges. Put in a bowl and toss with lemon juice. Add the fennel pollen, remaining olive oil and season with sea salt. Spread out onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until pale golden and tender.

Steam the spinach in a covered pan for a few minutes until wilted. Rinse with cold water and squeeze out any excess water. Chop roughly. Melt the butter in a saute pan and saute the garlic for one minute over med high heat. Then add in spinach and saute for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface  into an 11″ x 13″ rectangle. Put the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Create a border by lightly running a knife around the pastry 1 inch from the edge. Prick the rest of the pastry with a fork. Put parchment paper over the pastry within the border. Weigh it down with baking beans. Paint the border with the egg wash.

Put the pastry in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, removing the beans and paper after 15 minutes. Take the partially cooked pastry out of the oven and if the center has risen, just flatten it slightly with the back of a wooden spoon. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees.

Spread out the spinach onto the pastry, then layer the squash and fennel on top. Distribute the cheese slices over the top and bake a further 25 minutes. The cheese should be melted and slightly golden and the pastry should be golden brown.

Serve warm.

 

 


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