Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tart

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This dish…  It’s my liger, you see.  A lion and a tiger mix, bred for its skills in magic.  I took this and this, smushed them together and hoped for the best.

It’s like that one time on Full House.  Michelle Tanner was working hard toward her cooking badge for the Blonde Kids of Nineties TV Troop or whatever, and put olives in chocolate pudding, calling it “Michelle’s Pudding Surprise…”  OF COURSE Uncles Jesse and Joey and Co. pretended to like it, because come on–it’s the Tanners, and being much nicer and more wholesome than you and me is kiiiind of their thing.

Well.  My point being: this tart is an experiment just like that, except I’m roughly 18% smarter than 5-year-old Michelle Tanner (sorry, kid–at least you’re cuter).  This actually turned out really, really excellent.  Think sweet, rich fall flavors, topped with tangy goat cheese and a drizzle of honey, cozied up in a buttery crust.

First, there’s a quick crust to be made.  No chilling or anything crazy like that.  No way, Jose.

Halve a squash, seed it, slice it–you got it, dude.

Red onions and thyme, for caramelized, rich sweetness and woodsy herbal whatchamacallit.

We toss it all together in oil, a bit of vinegar, salt and pepper.  It’s just like making a salad, except you get to dump it a crust, top it with cheese and bake it.

Arrange the squash and onion as neatly or haphazardly as you’d like, top with chunks of rich, tangy goat cheese, drizzle with good honey.

Throw some nuts on there for good measure.  Eat, and have a great October.

Michelle approves, see?

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tart

 For crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 ounces (1 stick plus one tablespoon) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water

For filling:
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1/2 medium red onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces goat cheese, sliced into 8 rounds
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup hazelnuts (optional) 
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.To make crust dough, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add the butter and work into flour mixture using your hands or a bench knife, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of cold water and add to the dry mixture, stirring until the dough comes together.  Add the other tablespoon of cold water if necessary.Form the dough into a ball on a floured surface and roll out until large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your tart pan.  Transfer the dough into the tart pan and press it in, trimming edges as necessary.  (You can also make this a freeform tart–just roll out the dough into a large circle, put on a baking sheet, top with toppings and fold up the edges.)

Slice the squash and onion about 1/4-inch thick.  Combine both in a medium bowl with the thyme, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss until well-coated.  Arrange squash and onion in the tart shell, top with goat cheese, and drizzle with honey.

Bake for 30 minutes or so, until the squash is cooked through and the cheese is golden brown.  During the last 5 minutes of baking, scatter the nuts over the top, if using.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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    • Danguole says

      Ahhhh I’d forgotten! THANK YOU. The candles, the hair, the defective shirt buttons…. Amazing.

    • Danguole says

      That phone was awesome. Adulthood is also awesome, because we have eBay and can buy ridiculous things like that!