Sunday, October 04, 2020

Fall Is Here So Try This Savory Gallette

It's not as easy as it once was to celebrate the coming of autumn. For the last four years each fall we have had wildland fires, smoke, evacuations, power outages, heat, and a general sense of dread. This year you can add the pandemic to that!

Still, one thing that doesn't change is my desire to bake delicious things. I grew butternut squash this year. I also actually harvested and shelled some walnuts from our trees. They are both elements of this yummy galette. The other elements include roasted garlic, caramelized onion, fresh thyme, and (non-dairy) ricotta cheese, as well as a store-bought pie crust dough. Together they create the perfect fall dish for sharing with friends and neighbors as we did yesterday evening once the air had cooled and the smoke had mostly disappeared. We had good air quality for the first time in days! That meant we could sit outside on our neighbor's deck, socially distanced, of course, and enjoy this savory galette, plus AM's delicious guacamole and G's fresh strawberry margaritas. AM had watermelon wheat beer with hers. We were able to really see their two new kittens Remy and Emil, catch up on things and generally enjoy the lovely evening.

The way I approached this recipe, which is a variation of one I found in the Press Democrat, our regional newspaper, was to split up the prep of the filling ingredients. First I prepared the squash, peeling it, cutting it up, removing the seeds, then dicing it fairly small so that it would roast to a nice soft consistency before getting too brown or hard on the outside. The whole head of garlic that flavors the cheese was roasted at the same time, then later when the head had cooled, the inside roasted cloves were removed and mashed up. I folded them into the cheese to mellow and then stopped for lunch.

Later in the day I made the caramelized onions since they require a lot of attention and stirring. It's worth it because you really taste the onions in this tart. Don't try to hurry them...they need long, slow cooking. While they were cooking I chopped the walnuts. Now all the elements were ready.

The easiest part if putting it all together. While the oven (and a baking stone!) preheated, I rolled out the dough a bit more, then carefully transferred the dough to a piece of baking parchment placed on a baking peel. The cheese was spread over the bottom, some walnuts sprinkled over that, the onions spread over the cheese and walnuts, then the squash was spread over it all. I gently folded up the dough over the squash, pleating it as needed, then sprinkled some walnuts over the exposed squash. After brushing the dough with non-dairy creamer, I sprinkled a few more chopped walnuts over the dough, then slid the galette, still on the parchment paper, onto the preheated baking stone. This way you get a crisp, cooked bottom.

This galette can be vegan if you use a vegan pie crust and non-dairy ricotta and milk.

This is an awesome blending of flavors and textures. Do try this yourself. It's the season after all.

Butternut Squash Galette with Roasted Garlic, Caramelized Onions and Walnuts

A variation of a recipe in the Press Democrat newspaper, Sept. 30, 2020

Makes 4-6 servings

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large head garlic, whole and unpeeled, top cut off
1 large yellow onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh ricotta (I used a non-dairy Kite Hill ricotta)
1 dough for one crust pie (I used Pillsbury ReadyCrust - half the package)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped, divided
1 tablespoon milk (I used soy creamer)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, placing a baking stone on the middle rack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cut another piece of parchment paper at least 10-inches in all directions and place on a bread paddle or a rimless cookie sheet. If you don't have a baking stone, put the parchment on a pizza pan or another baking sheet.

Here are some photos of the prep on the squash.

peeled & seeds removed


In a large bowl, or in a clean, large, plastic produce bag place the prepared butternut squash and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss in the bowl or close the bag and shake vigorously to coat the squash with the oil. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and combine with the squash. Spread the squash, in a single layer if possible, onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Add the prepared head of garlic at one corner, and place in the oven. Bake until squash and garlic are tender. (Check at 20 minutes. If squash is tender but garlic isn't, remove the squash to a bowl to cook and continue cooking the garlic.) Total cooking time is about 25 minutes. Removed pan from oven and let squash and garlic cool. Set aside.

whole garlic head, prepped

While the squash and garlic are roasting, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saute' pan over medium-high heat. Add prepared onions and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown and soften. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Set aside. If the dough is still in the refrigerator, remove now to warm just a bit.

caramelized onions and the walnuts

When the garlic has cooled, peel the cloves and put in a small bowl. Mash with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the ricotta.

cheese and garlic layer

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until at least 10 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the dough circle to the parchment paper on the bread paddle or pizza pan or baking sheet. Use the back of a spoon to spread the ricotta mixture over the center of the dough, leaving a 2-3-inch outer edge uncovered. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts over the ricotta. Put the cooled caramelized onions on top and spread over the cheese and walnuts. Top with the cooled butternut squash, spreading the squash out to completely cover the onions and cheese.

walnut layer

onion layer

   squash layer

Fold the edges of the dough toward the center of the galette, pleating as you go. Sprinkle most of the walnuts in the center where there is no dough, then brush the dough with the milk using a pastry brush, and sprinkle the dough with the rest of the walnuts.

baking on stone

Bake in the preheated oven. If using the bread paddle or rimless cookie sheet and baking stone, slide the parchment and galette onto the baking stone. If not using the baking stone, place the sheet pan with the galette into the oven. Bake until crust is golden brown. Check at 20 minutes, but this usually takes about 25-30 minutes. Cool on a rack. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and garnish, if desired, with more fresh thyme. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.


  1. Ooh, the walnuts are such a great addition!

  2. The galette looks delicious, Elle. What a wonderful way to comfort yourselves!

    I hope that a good long steady rain will come soon. Take care!