Monday, September 29, 2008

The Snack of Champions

Most of you know I teach high school. Many of you may not know that I teach at the High School that Michael Phelps graduated from not so long ago. His hometown has been a little crazy this year, to say the least. You'd have to live under a rock to avoid hearing his name every 5 minutes. Although I never taught him, I've met him since he won his 8 golds in Beijing (when he came to thank our principal) and one of my good friends taught alongside his mom. Next weekend they'll hold an Olympian parade in front of Towson U to honor himself, Katie Hoff and the other Baltimore olympians and many of us are walking in it.

Now, as you know, Micheal Phelps is known for eating lots of food. Not really very good quality food, just in massive quantities. He's known for downing a dozen eggs, pancakes, waffles, sausage, etc, etc at breakfast and following up with tons of pizza and chinese food. I think it's time his taste took a slightly more balanced route, with more veggies and sophisticated flavors. If it was my job to lure him over to the other side, I'd do it with this tart.

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen's butternut squash galette, my rustic fall tart is even spicer with a mellow note from good blue cheese and a kick from a parmesan and black pepper crust. This was a rockin snack on a stormy autumn afternoon. I highly recommend it, as does L, a normally vehement squash hater.

Autumn Galette

Parmesan Peppercorn Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup grated parmaggiano reggiano
1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
ice water

In a small bowl, combine flour, parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Use a fork or a pastry blender to cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Add ice water, a few drops at a time, until mixture stays together when pressed. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour.


1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp butter
1 large red onion
2 Tbsp garlic rosemary seasoning
1/4 cup cream sherry

1/4 cup good quality mild blue cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss squash with a drizzle of olive oil until coated. Turn out onto a baking sheet. Roast until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and toss with seasonings.

Meanwhile, saute onions in butter until caramelized. Add seasoning and deglaze with sherry. Cook until sherry has reduced to a syrupy glaze.

Roll out dough to a 13 inch round. Top with onions, then blue cheese and finally spiced squash. Fold edges of crust over filling, leaving the middle open, and pleat to fit.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and flaky.


ttfn300 said...

oops, i just tried to bite my screen! i might just have to try this one out :)

Beth said...

I love butternut squash and perhaps have been eating a little too much of it recently!! A bit more wont hurt - have bookmarked this one

Heather said...

that looks way better than wheaties! ok, you teach at towson high? i grew up in wiltondale, and was a lifeguard/swimming instructor at wiltondale pool for years. you probably teach half of the kids i used to babysit. i live in arlington now but was in towson until after college. i went to bryn mawr, but my sister went to towson, and one of my former highschool classmates teaches at towson now. so weird. did you grow up in towson?

Anonymous said...

OOh that looks delicious! yay for fall! I think I am going to try and watch the parade on saturday! Hope you have fun walking in it!

P said...

Thanks for the vegan site. You rock sister. I'll be in DC for the parade, but I am proud as punch about Mr. Phelps and I just love his mom. Our marching band will be in the parade though!

Jaime said...

i've never seen a savory galette before... this looks so good!

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

I totally forgot about Smitten Kitchen's butternut squash galette.
I like your idea of using blue cheese! And yes, black pepper never hurts either...

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