As I was looking through the November issue of Cooking Light Magazine, this recipe for Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart caught my eye because the picture of it was so appetizing. I wanted to make and eat it right then and there, but I earmarked the page for a more opportune time. Well, the time came this past week. After the cooking and baking frenzy that was Christmas I was ready to prepare a simple meal, and enjoy the process of doing it.
Boy, am I ever glad I finally got around to making this tart. From the crust on the bottom to the cheese on top, it is one layer after another of delicious flavors that compliment each other perfectly.
Let me start with the crust: the ingredients are mixed in the food processor and once mixed, go straight into the pie plate where you form the crust with your fingers by pressing it against the bottom and sides of the pan. Then it goes right into the preheating oven to begin baking.
The recipe as printed in the magazine relies on prepared ingredients, i.e. pre cubed squash, chopped onions, pre chopped pancetta, and pre sliced mushrooms as time savers. However as a cost saving measure I don’t usually purchase my vegetables this way, preferring to prep them myself, so that added some time to the preparation of this dish.
Preparation of the tart filling involved peeling and cubing the butternut squash,
chopping the onion, grating the cheese ( I used an Edam cheese that has good flavor and nice melting properties.)
The shiitake mushrooms I purchased were whole caps that I sliced, and the pancetta was in slices that I cut into small pieces.
This all added about 15 minutes to the preparation time.
Because I knew the prep work would take a little time, I did all of it before making the crust, so once the crust went into the oven I was ready to continue using the processor to make the filling. Cutting the squash into fine pieces cuts down on the cooking time, and changed the texture somewhat and when the onions get mixed with it the flavor and “mouth-feel” was very pleasant. Eggs, cheese and seasonings get mixed with the squash and onions, then poured into the partially baked crust and baked.
While that is happening, you sauté the pancetta till brown and then add and sauté the mushrooms. The final step is to arrange the mushrooms and pancetta on the tart surface followed by the remaining cheese and bake until the cheese melts.
My final product was as pretty as the picture in the magazine. The crust was flaky and tender, it remained dry and flaky in spite of the wetness of the filling baked in it. This tart also cut perfectly; each wedge holding its shape as it was removed from the baking dish. I will definitely use this recipe and method for making a crust for tarts and quiches that I make from now on. I might also add that I felt that the time spent making this dish was well worth the effort, because the finished dish was so perfect in every way.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND MUSHROOM TART
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons ice water
- cooking spray
- 3 cups peeled, precubed butternut squash
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO, divided
- 3/4 cup prechopped onion
- 2/3 cup shredded cheese, divided. Gruyere, Gouda, Edam are all good choices.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1 1/2 ounces prechopped pancetta, or 3 slices cut into small pieces
- 5 ounces presliced shiitake mushroom caps
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. To prepare crust, spoon all the flour plus the salt, pepper and baking powder into the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 times to mix. Combine 1/4 cup oil with the 3 Tablespoons ice water in a measuring cup. With the processor running, slowly add oil mixture through food chute, and process until dough is crumbly. Pour dough into the pie plate.
Working quickly, press dough into an even layer in bottom and up sides of pie plate.
Place crust into preheating oven, and bake for 10 minutes.
3. To prepare the filling, place squash into food processor (do not clean from dough), and process for 1 minute or until squash is finely chopped.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add squash and onion to pan; sauté for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. While squash cooks, combine half the cheese ( 1/3 cup), eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Stir into the squash and onion mixture.
5. At the end of 10 minute baking time, remove the crust from the oven, spoon squash mixture into the crust and spread evenly. Return to the oven and continue baking for 9 minutes.
6. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 Tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pancetta; cook 1 minute or until beginning to brown. Add mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes or until browned.
Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 cup white wine. Cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates.
7. Remove tart from oven. Arrange the mushroom mixture evenly over the top of the tart; sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Return tart to 425 degrees oven and bake for 3 – 5 minutes until cheese melts.
Serve this delicious entree with a mixed green salad for a complete, low calorie, almost meatless meal. To make it vegetarian just omit the pancetta.
Calories 368, Fat 21.8 g., Carb 31.6 g.
SOURCE: slightly adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, November, 2012