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An Inter-state Galette

December 29, 2009

The forecast predicted snow for the day before I flew home for winter break, but when I woke up the sky was clear, even though it was freezing. Which is why I somehow thought it was a good idea to go to the CitySeed farmer’s market in Wooster Square that morning — I hadn’t been in a week or two and besides, it was the last of the weekly markets before winter set in.

Dressed warmly, I set out with a friend and arrived a little sniffly, but okay. It was worth it: the winter produce like brussel sprouts, kale, leeks, and turnips were all beautiful. But I was leaving (on a jet plane) in less than 24 hours! I couldn’t help but buy three enormous leeks anyway. As our fingers froze, we thankfully got a ride back from market with a friend. But what was I going to do this the leeks?

It snowed eight inches that night, but I got home just fine. My leeks may have made it through airport security, but they also had lost their status as “local” produce. I was still happy to share the bounty of Connecticut with my family, however, and decided to pair it with a local organic butternut squash my parents had bought.

With Connecticut and Oklahoma combined, I decided to make a galette. Like the delicious offspring of a pizza and a pastry, it was the perfect savory answer to the winter cold. I mixed the dough and set it to chill while the cubed squash roasted in the oven. I mixed them with the beautiful sauteed leeks, some crumbled goat cheese, and a little bit of cayenne pepper.

Folding the dough over to get the galette’s signature pleated edge, I thought about the work required by so many hands from two different states to grow the vegetables that went into it. While I wouldn’t recommend shipping produce across state lines as a regular practice, our galette was delicious. The recipe is below!

Butternut Squash and Leek 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 (I used homemade yogurt that we had strained — to do it yourself, drain thick greek yogurt in a colander lined with cheese cloth for 4-6 hours)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
1 small butternut squash (about one pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 large leeks, or 4-5 small, white and light green parts, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
4 oz goat cheese

1. Make pastry: Whiz the flour and salt in a food processor to mix. Cut up the butter and add, pulsing til the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the food processor. Continue to add mixture until dough comes together. Pat the dough into a ball; do not overwork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

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 midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Saute leeks: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook leeks over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally, until soft and brown in places, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in cayenne.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onions, and cheese 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, leek, and cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, leek, 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 6.

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