Category 1: a new un-tested recipe
Category 2: a recipe that was yummy enough on the first go-around to try again, at some point
Category 3: a recipe that was so damn tasty on the first go-around that it becomes a seasonal staple in my recipe rotation
Bonus category 4: recipes that a) taste so good they fall in category 3 and b) are pretty enough to serve to guests.
This is a category 4 recipe, not to be confused with a category 4 hurricane, which has an altogether different outcome. (Although interestingly enough, I first cooked this recipe during a hurricane here in NYC, when we all hunkered down and ate our perishables. But I digress. As usual.)
This is a fall-favorite in my house, and a perfect dish to bring along to a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s adaptable: make it vegetarian by omitting the pancetta; use whatever sharp cheese you have on hand or need to use up; experiment with acorn squash or pumpkin instead of butternut!
But whatever you do, don’t mess with the crust. This crust is now my go-to crust for tarts, quiches, whatever. If it needs a savory crust, this is the one it gets!
Butternut Gruyere Tart with Mushrooms and Pancetta
- 5.6 oz all-purpose flour (about 1 cup plus 2 T)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 T ice water
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
- 2 T olive oil, divided
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 2.5 oz aged Gruyere or other sharp cheese, shredded and divided (about 2/3 cup)*
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
- 1 1/2 ounces pre-chopped pancetta, such as Cittero
- 5 oz sliced mushrooms of your h=choice (I like a pre-sliced mushroom blend)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
*Gruyere is divine, but really any sharp cheese would do. Gouda or Fontina would be yummy, I’m sure, and Gorgonzola could be really striking in combination with the sweet butternut.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Toss butternut with 1 T olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Spread in a baking pan coated with cooking spray, and put in the heating oven while you make your crust.
To make crust, combine flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder in a food processor; pulse a few times to combine. Combine 1/4 cup oil and 3 tablespoons ice water in a small bowl. Slowly add oil mixture through food processor chute, and continue to pulse until dough is crumbly. Dump dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Press dough into an even layer in the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Place crust into the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Take this opportunity to stir your butternut squash.
While the squash is roasting and the crust is baking, start on the rest of the filling.
Heat skillet on stove; once hot, add pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove pancetta and drain on a paper towel, leaving the drippings in the pan.
[At this point your crust and squash are probably done. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.]
Add onion to pan, and sprinkle with a little salt; sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the onions have cooked down a little, add in the mushrooms and another sprinkle of salt, and stir well. Cook until the most of the moisture is gone from the mushrooms, about 7 minutes. Add wine to skillet; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Turn off the heat.
Now that your squash is cooked, mash it, or puree it in the food processor (no need to clean it from making the crust.) Place the squash in a large bowl, and add in the onion-mushroom mixture. To the veggies, add half of cheese (about 1/3 cup), eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Spoon this mixture over crust, and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the pancetta, and the remaining cheese. Return tart to 425° oven; bake 12-14 minutes. Serve with a side salad, brussels sprouts, or perhaps some green beans!
More Thanksgiving recipes
- Healthy pumpkin cheesecake trifle, an alternative to pumpkin pie
- Brussels sprouts with shallots and pecans
- Cheesy Corn Spoon Bread
- Holiday Icebox Dinner Rolls: 3 Ways
- Butternut Gruyere Tart with Mushrooms and Pancetta
- Boozy Fruit Stuffing (or, why we must always have at least two stuffings on the table)