Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dark Days Challenge - Week 8 Report

Well, we've had a pretty good week for sticking with mostly local foods. For a meal to report on, I decided to describe a dinner we had earlier in the week when our niece joined us. We had a squash tart and a simple fruit salad (Oregon pears, Washington apples, California oranges).

The tart was made with a butternut squash and onions that came from an earlier trip to the farmer's market. (It's been getting more difficult to get to those since the choices are pretty limited during the winter months.) The cream, eggs and cheeses all were bought at the grocery store but did come from various places in Oregon.

The cheeses in the tart - Fern's Edge Goat Dairy in Lowell (southeast of Eugene) and Willamette Valley Cheese Co. in Salem.

The onions get carmelized.




The filling after the squash has been roasted and everything else has been mixed in.


Forgot to take a picture of the tart after it was cooked, but before we ate dinner. So, this is what was left and kind of a hurried, blurry photo. The quality of the picture is not at all indicative of the taste of the tart. I don't have a tart pan, so the pie crust doesn't quite fit. But, it sure tasted great and the leftovers made for a terrific breakfast.

The recipe is from Epicurious.

Roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion tart
pastry dough
pie weights or raw rice for weighting shell
1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil plus about 2 teaspoons for brushing squash
1 small onion
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 whole large egg
1/2 large egg yolk (1/2 tablespoon)
1/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated Italian Fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup crumbled mild soft goat cheese (about 1 ounce)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and marjoram leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
preparation
On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 12-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). Fit dough into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim. Freeze shell 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights or raw rice.
Bake shell in middle of oven until edge is pale golden, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights or rice and bake shell 10 minutes more, or until bottom is golden. Leave oven on. Cool shell in pan on a rack.

Halve squash and scoop out seeds.
Lightly brush each cut side with about 1 teaspoon oil and on a baking sheet roast squash, cut sides down, in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until soft.

While squash is roasting, thinly slice onion and in a heavy skillet cook in 1/2 tablespoon butter and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Cool squash and scoop out flesh.
In a food processor purée squash. Add whole egg, egg yolk, and cream and blend well.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in cheeses, herbs, onion, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour filling into shell, smoothing top.

In a small skillet melt remaining tablespoon butter and stir in bread crumbs until combined well.
Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over filling. Bake tart in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool tart in pan on rack 10 minutes and carefully remove rim.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in cheeses, herbs, onion, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour filling into shell, smoothing top.

In a small skillet melt remaining tablespoon butter and stir in bread crumbs until combined well.
Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over filling. Bake tart in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool tart in pan on rack 10 minutes and carefully remove rim. Serves 6 to 8.

2 comments:

livinginalocalzone said...

I must say straight off, I am jealous of your oranges! It is interesting to read about the local fare for people in a completely different part of the country. We still have farmers' markets going around here too, but the options are slim.
Butternut and onion, good idea. I have so much winter squash (a good thing, I need it to get me through the winter) that I am always looking for new ways to use it. I can't eat many of the ingredients in your tart recipe, but I really like the concept of those flavors.

Joan said...

Well, in the interest of truthful reporting, the orange was a Californian - not very local to us, even though it is a neighboring state. I consider some parts of Washington to be close enough to count as local. But, I'm pretty sure the oranges originated more than 200 miles away from here. It does make me envious of those Californians who can get so many more things year round. Still, in terms of miles traveled, it is better than getting them from Mexico, Florida or Chile, I guess.
Yes, this would be difficult to make without the dairy products as a tart. But, the carmelized onions with roasted squash would probably be a good combination all on their own.