Food Bridges the Seasons

Butternut, Blue Cheese & Fig Galette


Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

August seems like long ago. That’s when we made what has become an annual visit to Krueger Pepper Farm, loading up on end-of summer

Picking tomatillos.

produce – a variety of tomatoes, including fresh San Marzanos, peppers, tomatillos, eggplant, corn and melons.

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

First, we go into the fields to do some picking and then we stop by the farm stand for more. That’s where a display of winter squashes caught my eye.

It was too early to think about cooking squash – my mind was on fresh tomato sauce, tomatillo salsa, grilled corn and eggplant pizza – but they were too pretty to pass up and I piled them into a basket. Thank goodness I did. Fall was on the horizon and these squashes were my “culinary bridge” helping me get over the end of summer and look forward to fall.

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Winter squashes are keepers – store them in a cool dry place or place a few on the counter and they will keep for months. My first squash recipe of the season was this savory galette, a free-form tart filled squash seasoned with onion, sage and wine, blue cheese and figs.

In place of butternut, I used Japanese Kabocha squash which is reliably sweet and dense. Save time by buying ready-to-cook cubes of butternut squash in a bag or box. You could buy a pie pastry but it’s worth your time to grab some butter and set aside a few minutes to make the whole wheat pastry – the perfect, rustic and match to wrap up the filling.

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Winter squashes give back, nutritionally speaking. In my blog “Super-Squash For Fall Cooking”  I mention they supply vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin A, and important minerals, potassium and magnesium. The color of the squash comes from the carotenoid pigments which function as antioxidants and are precursors to vitamin A. Eating more carotenoid-rich foods is associated with eye health and a reduced risk of some cancer and other conditions.

Vegetarians coming to your Thanksgiving feast? Serve them a wedge of this galette. Or cut it into small wedges and use to start the party. I made if for a simple dinner with a green salad tossed with a handful of toasted walnuts.

Check out my galette how-to photos in the Valley Fig Growers Fig Focus October 2018 newsletter. For more squash cooking, try Butternut Squash Hummus  or this Thai Red Curry with Squash and Fall Vegetables.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Butternut, Blue Cheese & Fig Galette
Serves 8 to 10

Galette Crust:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
9 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon), cut into small bits
6 tablespoons ice water, more as needed

Fig Butternut Filling:
1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups thinly sliced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups (12 ounces) cubed (1/2-inch) peeled butternut or other winter squash
3/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh sage leaves (4 teaspoons dried)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine, dry sherry or orange juice
½ cup shredded, fresh Parmesan cheese
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

1. Make dough: Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl (or bowl of food processor). Whisk to blend well. (Cover processor and whirl to blend.) Cut in butter with pastry blender (or pulse in food processor) until butter is the size of peas. Stir in enough water to make a dough that keeps together and feels moist when squeezed with your hand (or add water and pulse in food processor). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper or work surface. Form dough into a ball; flatten to a disk. Wrap airtight and chill. Let soften at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling.
2. Make filling: Stem Figs. Cut each into thin slices, then cut each slice lengthwise in half. Set Figs aside. Swirl olive oil into large nonstick skillet. Place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Stir in squash. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir in Figs, sage and wine. Cover and steam, adjusting heat as needed, for 12 minutes or until squash is fork-tender. If liquid remains, continue to cook, uncovered, until all liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and cool while rolling dough.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper to a 12-inch circle. Slide bottom parchment sheet with dough onto an un-rimmed baking sheet.
4. Stir Parmesan and ½ cup blue cheese into Fig mixture. Spread filling on tart dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle remaining blue cheese and green onion on top. Fold up and pleat the border of dough around the filling. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is hot.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

© Lorelle Del Matto 2018

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.

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