See, I had this clever idea to make my 2010 return post something special, since I’ve been MIA for so long, with a pair of savory and sweet galettes. I thought, being a nerd, that the title “two galettes” was amusing, which is probably mostly the reason I decided to go with this plan. But New York conspired against me, in that we didn’t even eat dinner until 9 pm. I realized that two different from-scratch doughs combined with cooking times just didn’t leave enough time or room in my belly before bedtime to justify the sweet galette (apple, courtesy of Alice Waters / Jacques Pepin).

So, enjoy instead this savory butternut squash and caramelized onion galette courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I made a couple of small modifications, indicated in the recipe below. This is, in the parlance of early 90’s California, hella good. It pretty much contains everything I love in life (except garlic) in one buttery rustic tart. Can you tell I am prone to exaggeration?

In any case, if you want to impress some guests (and convince some people that vegetarian can be just as delicious as omnivorous), make this galette. But I’m warning you — although technically it should serve 6, I wouldn’t count on it serving more than 4. You might just need to make two! And although the dough seems fussy, do not skip the freezing step! The colder the butter, the smaller the pieces you can cut it into without just mushing it around. It’s the tiny bits of unincorporated butter that make it all flaky and delicious. You’ll thank me in the end.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
1 small butternut squash (1 – 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons butter (you can omit if you do Mark Bittman-style caramelized onions, starting in a dry pan with the lid on until the water evaporates then removing the lid and adding a touch of oil and stirring over low heat until brown)
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
3/4 cup fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), grated or cut into small bits
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1. Make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Mine did not go quite so smoothly…I did have to do a bit more patting than I thought was recommended to get it to come together. But it ended up OK, so don’t worry if your dough is ragged. When you roll it out, it will press the pieces together.)

2. Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil lined sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Caramelize onions: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

5. Assemble galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

6. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 – 6.