Butternut Squash and Sage Galette with Cornmeal Crust / by Kelsey Vlamis

I realize that butternut squash and sage isn't exactly a ground-breaking combination, but the flavors complement each other so well that I couldn't resist throwing them in this cornmeal crust. I only recently started making galettes, and honestly, I'm not sure why it took me so long. Or why no one ever told me how easy it was? I honestly want to scream it to anyone who will listen. GALETTES ARE EASY AND VERSATILE AND DELICIOUS SO JUST MAKE ONE NOW. But first, let's talk about squash.

Squash is one of the easiest foods to buy local and in-season.

A couple weekends ago, we went to the farmers market and bought about 12 squash of differing varieties: butternut, acorn, squash that look like pumpkin, squash that are cute in an ugly sort of way. We keep them stored in a cool, dry place (behind the couch in the corner of our living room), and expect them to last us until the spring.

This is the original beauty of winter squash: that they can be harvested in the fall and used to feed us throughout a long winter. Though the necessity of such foods is less prevalent now that we can just pop over to the grocery store whenever we want, buying squash locally when it is in season and using it throughout the winter is an extremely feasible sustainable food choice.

While this butternut squash and sage galette is not the healthiest one you can make to use your up your local squash, it's delicious, simple yet impressive, and made entirely of very real food. Basically, as far as indulging goes, this is about as good as it gets. Finally, this galette would make a great side dish or appetizer (especially for Thanksgiving day!), but could also pass as dinner between three people, if served with a side salad.

Butternut Squash and Sage Galette with Corn Meal Crust
makes about 6 slices of galette

for the crust
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour (I used all-purpose, feel free to sub gluten-free or whole-wheat)
salt + pepper
10 tbsp butter, chilled, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup of water, plus more if needed
1 egg, mixed well for egg wash

for the filling
1 tbsp butter
2 1/2 cups squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1 medium butternut squash)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2-2 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1/8 cup goat cheese

toppings (optional)
3-4 tbsp butter
8-10 fresh sage leaves

for the crust
Prepare crust 1-24 hours before baking. Combine cornmeal, flour, and salt and pepper in a large bowl until incorporated. Add cubes of chilled butter to bowl with dry ingredients. "Cut" the butter into the mixture, using a pastry cutter, fork, food processor, or your hands. If it is taking too long, or the butter begins to warm, pop it back in the fridge for ten minutes before proceeding.*

Once the butter has been cut into small pieces (about the size of beans), and is spread throughout the mixture, add 1/4 cup of water and stir to combine. If mixture is too loose, and more water 1 tbsp at a time, until it coheres. Once mixture is cohesive, transfer to a floured surface, form dough into ball, and knead 2-3 times. Form dough into a thick flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and set in the fridge to rest at least 1 hour.

for the filling
Warm butter (or cooking fat of your choice) on a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and caramelize, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy in some places, about 12-15 minutes. Add butternut squash and sage to skillet and stir well. Cook until squash is tender. Once everything is soft and slightly browned, add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove chilled crust from fridge and transfer to a well-floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the crust out into a large, rough circle about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread or crumble goat cheese onto the crust, leaving about 2 inches from the edge. Scoop the squash and onion mixture onto the goat cheese. One side at the time, fold the ends of the crust back over the top of the filling, creating as many edges as you want (I did five). Brush the surface of the crust with the egg wash, and transfer to oven for 40-45 minutes or until crust is browned all over.

optional toppings
While galette bakes, add butter to a small pan over medium heat. Once butter is shimmering and begins to bubble, add fresh sage leaves, allowing to fry for about 3o seconds on each side, before removing and transferring to paper towel. Allow the butter in the pan to cook, stirring often, until it is distinctly brown with a nutty fragrance. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to small bowl. When galette is finished, drizzle it with browned butter and top with the crispy sage leaves.

notes *The crust needs to maintain a colder temperature in order to prevent the butter from melting. The in-tact pieces of butter are key to creating a flakey crust. At any point in time when working with the crust, if you feel it has been out too long or has cooled down too much (even once you've started adding the filling), feel free to pop it into the fridge for 10 minutes before proceeding.