Live in the now.

I’ve been chanting this phrase over and over again for the past day or so.  It’s something I’m absolutely horrible at.  Most days I’m thinking about what’s going on this weekend, what I’ll be doing over winter break, and if I’ll have a job in a year (this one’s a biggie.)  I concern myself with who I want (and wish) I could be and I often loose sight of who I am now.

So much happens in my day to day but I take it for granted.  I often let the past dictate how I’m feeling and the future guide my way.

Cooking is very much a “now” activity.  I’m not thinking about how the food will be a week from now.  When I’m cooking, I’m not thinking about what I’ll be making in a week.  I’m involved and enjoying the present.  I’m feeling the dough between my fingers and I’m breathing in the waft of onions cooking on the stove top.  When the food is done, I’m tasting (and savoring) the finished product.  The only sense I’m not using is my hearing (but of course, I always have music playing the background.)

Cooking helps keep in the now.

This may just be one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever crafted.  I took two of my other favorite recipes (this galette and this sandwich) and combined them into one amazing fall vegetarian meal.  Sure, it takes a bit of time to make but sometimes we need to remember to slow down and live in the now.

 (PS- I just stumbled across The Goat Rodeo Sessions which is folk music with Yo-Yo Ma.  I’m absolutely in love with this cd and if you like folk music, I think you will be too.)

Butternut Squash, Balsamic Onions, & Ricotta Galette
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetarian main course
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • 2 oz cream cheese, chilled
  • ¼-1/2 cup of ice water
  • Filling:
  • 1½ pounds butternut squash
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1-15 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup Parmesan
  • ½ cup mozzarella
  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚.
  2. In a food processor (or a medium bowl) combine flour and salt for crust. Pulse (or cut) in butter. Once butter is mostly into small chunks, pulse (or cut) in cream cheese. (On a side note- I really love using a food processor to make this dough- less mess!) Once butter and cream cheese are in pea size pieces, pulse in ¼ cup of water until dough begins to come together (adding a 1 tablespoon of water extra as needed.) Remove from food processor and shape into a disc (without handling the dough too much.) Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator.
  3. While dough chills, peel butternut squash and cut in ¼” thick slices. Place on a baking tray (covered with parchment or aluminum foil if you want) and roast until tender, roughly 20-25 minutes.
  4. To make onions, cut into ⅛” half circles. Heat over low the olive oil in a skillet. Place sliced onions in skillet and begin to let onions cook- do not stir. Continue to cook onions until they begin to brown, 10-15 minutes. Once onions are cooked, stir in balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until vinegar reduces down, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Once dough is chilled, squash is roasted, and onions are ready, blend together the remaining filling ingredients.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pie dough out to a 12-14″ circle and transfer to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper (you can also do an ungreased baking sheet but it wasn’t easy to remove the final product.) Spread the ricotta filling evenly over the pie crust, leaving a 2″ border around the edge. Next, evenly sprinkle ¾ of the balsamic onions over the ricotta mixture. Finally, start in the middle and overlap the butternut squash in a circle continuing until all the ricotta mixture is covered. Fold over the edges of the crust, pleating as needed to make and even circle.
  7. Combine the egg yolk/water and brush the outer edge of the crust. Drizzle olive oil on top of the butternut squash and place in oven.
  8. Bake galette until crust is golden brown and the cheese has puffed- somewhere between 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining balsamic onions. Cut into wedges and serve. (this is great hot, room temp, or even straight from the refrigerator as a leftover!)

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