Delicata, Chard & Mushroom Galette

Delicata, Chard & Mushroom Galette

This recipe came about because I had leftover squash purée that needed to be used up. It would’ve been easy to just throw it into the freezer to use at a later date (meaning: throw it in the freezer, forget all about it, and then throw it out when it’s completely freezer burned), but I was determined to figure out a way to use it up. And not only did I do that, but the result tasted even better than i thought it would!

Delicata, Chard & Mushroom GaletteDelicata, Chard & Mushroom Galette

Delicata, Chard & Mushroom Galette

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/3 cup ice water

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups delicata squash purée (see below)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bunch (about 1/2 pound) chard (I used red, but any kind will do), washed well and mostly dried

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Egg wash:

1 egg yolk whisked with one teaspoon water

Make the crust:

Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the cubed butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, vinegar, and water. Pour the sour cream mixture into the food processor, and pulse just until the mixture starts to come together into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill in the fridge for at least one hour or up to 2 days.

Make the filling:

1. Combine the squash purée, salt and pepper to taste (I used lots of pepper, because I knew the topping would be on the sweet side), and thyme in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Prepare the chard: cut along both sides of the stem, to remove the stem. Cut the stem into slices (about 1/4-inch thick), and set aside in a bowl. Slice the leaves (also about a 1/4-inch thick), and place into another bowl.

3.  In a large skillet (i used my 10-inch cast iron), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook it for a few minutes until softened, stirring often. Add the chard stems and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add the mushrooms, a few large pinches of kosher salt, and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms cook down and any water evaporates, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chard leaves and stir for 1 minute, until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the dried cranberries.

Assemble and bake the galette:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. On a large piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough to a 16-inch circle (dust the top of the dough and your rolling pin with flour to keep it from sticking). (Don’t worry if your circle isn’t perfect.) Carefully slide the parchment with the dough onto a large baking sheet.

2. Spread the squash purée over the dough, stopping about 2 inches before the border. Top with the mushroom-chard mixture, and the sprinkle with the feta. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pleating to make it fit. Brush with the egg wash.

3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. I served this warm, but I imagine it would taste good at room temperature, too.

Delicata Squash Purée:

I used leftover purée for this, so I don’t really know how many delicata squashes you need to make 1 1/2 cups of purée (sorry!), but I think 3 would probably be more than enough. All you do is cut the squashes in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roast in a 375°F oven for about 40 minutes (until completely soft and slightly browned). Let the squashes cool off, then remove the skin, place the flesh into a blender with a bit of water, and then purée. Simple as that!

I recommend making the purée in advance and refrigerating, because it thickens up slightly when cold, which makes it easier to spread on the dough without making a mess.

makes 1 12-inch galette

Dough recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup

Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup

Remember how I mentioned a while back that I hadn’t really been in a cooking kind of mood? Unfortunately, that went on for quite a while. I’m only just starting to get back into it. I think part of it is the change of seasons (it’s finally starting to feel a little bit like fall here in SoCal). So many bloggers seem to be most inspired by summer produce. But me? I prefer the produce that comes with the cooler temps. When I see stacks of beautiful squashes, pears, apples, it makes me want to get into the kitchen and prepare something warm and comforting.

I decided I want to make a soup for dinner at least once a week throughout the fall and winter. It’s a meal that everybody loves, it can usually be made ahead of time and warmed up (essential for busy evenings after the kids come home from school), and, since it’s just as easy to make a big pot as a small pot, I can have leftovers for lunch for several days after.

I made this Beet, Fennel & Apple soup for dinner Monday night. I made a double recipe, and the hardest part was peeling the beets, which really isn’t all that hard to do. There’s just a little sautéeing, and then you throw everything else into the pot and simmer. A quick purée at the end, and you’re done!

Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup

With so many girls in the house, you just know that a pink soup went over very well!

Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 fennel bulb, diced (save fronds for garnish, or another use, if desired)

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Coarse sea salt

3 medium beets, peeled and roughly chopped

2 small apples, peeled and roughly chopped (I used Fuji apples)

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

Freshly ground black pepper

Fennel fronds or chopped chives for garnish, if desired

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a bout 10 minutes. You want the vegetables to be softened, but not browned.

2. Add the beets, apples, and broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until the beets and apples are completely soft, about 30 to 35 minutes.

3. Blend the soup, either in a blender or in the pot with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings

From It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow & Julia Turshen

(If it seems like I’ve been cooking from this book a lot—3 out of the last 5 post contain recipes from it—it’s because I have been cooking from it a lot! I really like this book, and all the recipes I’ve made from it have been wonderful.)

Power Chopped Salad & Quinoa with Mushrooms and Arugula

Power Chopped Salad/Quinoa with Mushrooms & Arugula

I don’t usually post two recipes in one post, but when I was dishing out dinner last night it just looked so pretty on the plates that I had to take a picture. I posted it on Facebook and immediately got a request for the recipes.

So here they are. Two bright, vegetable-filled recipes; a perfect meal for hot end-of-summer days . (Because, despite what many people may believe, it IS still summer.)

Power Chopped Salad with Creamy Parsley Dressing

For the dressing:

leaves from 1 bunch of Italian parsley (about a cup)

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Veganaise (I used light mayo, because I already had it on hand)

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon xylitol (you can sub sugar, if you want to)

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or in a cup using an immersion blender, until completely pureed. Will keep for up to a week in a jar in the fridge.

For the salad:

2 hearts of romaine, finely shredded

2 handfuls of baby arugula, roughly chopped

Creamy Parsley Dressing

1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced

2 cooked beets, peeled and diced (I used THIS method) (I used 3 beets)

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered (I used 5 eggs)

Toss the romaine and arugula with 1/4 cup of the dressing in a large bowl. Place onto individual plates or a large platter, and scatter the remaining ingredients over the top. Drizzle with more dressing, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Quinoa with Mushrooms & Arugula

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced

Coarse sea salt

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 large handfuls of arugula, roughly chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and a large pinch of salt to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned.

2. Transfer the mushrooms to a large bowl, add the quinoa and arugula, and stir to combine. Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes 4 serving

Both recipes from It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

Chewy Chocolate Chip & Dried Cranberry Granola Bars

Chewy Chocolate Chip & Dried Cranberry Granola Bars

Yesterday, for the first time in (many) weeks, I actually felt like spending time in the kitchen. I took advantage of that to make these granola bars. While I definitely don’t make all of their snacks from scratch, I don’t like to rely too much on store-bought snacks for the kids—they’re pricy, and all too often full of a ton of crap that I’d rather them not eat too much of. And it had definitely been too long since I made anything for them.

Chewy Chocolate Chip & Dried Cranberry Granola Bars

I love that these are relatively healthy, use ingredients that I pretty much always have in the house, and are easy to make. They also freeze well, so you can make a big batch and have them for a while.

You can find the recipe for these HERE. I doubled the recipe and mixed in a 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips and 2/3 cup dried cranberries, which was plenty—I’d probably cut down on them next time.

Chewy Chocolate Chip & Dried Cranberry Granola Bars

Summer Pistou

Summer Pistou

I was a little unsure about serving this for dinner last night. A stew? During the summer? When it was in the mid-80s inside my house? (Buying a house with no central air is something I will NEVER do again!!)

But with all the colorful vegetables inside the stew, and the herb-y pesto served on top of the stew, this really did taste like summer. I served it with some olive bread on the side, which (despite the fact that I recently posted an easy recipe for it) I bought. Because although we still need to eat, when the weather’s like that I just want to cook as little as possible.

Summer Pistou

For the stew:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper

2 cups green beans cut into 2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

4 cups chopped yellow summer squash

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 (15 ounce) cans red or white beans, undrained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the almond-herb pesto:

1 cup toasted almonds

1 cup packed fresh basil

2 cups packed fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 to 3 tablespoon water, optional

Make the stew:

In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and bell peppers, and cook for about 3 minutes. And the green beans and broth (or water) and simmer until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the yellow squash, tomatoes, and beans. Return to a simmer and cook until all of the vegetables are tender.

Make the Pesto:

Combine the almonds, basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. Add water if you would like a thinner consistency.

Serve the stew topped with a dollop of the pesto.

6 to 8 servings

From Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health