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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tart of the Month - Butternut Squash with Sage, Honey & Chilis

You really can't go wrong with these puff pastry tarts.  They come together in minutes and bake quickly.  They work great as an appetizer, side dish or as a quick lunch.  I keep all-butter puff pastry in the freezer at all times now, and I can whip up a tart at a moment's notice.  

This recipe comes from Bon Appetit.  It's a has a few steps, but it's super easy to do.  Here's what you need:

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1 small butternut squash (just the neck part, reserve the rest for another time)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 small red chili pepper
15 small fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Unroll the sheet of puff pastry and place on a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet.  

Beat the egg with a little water and brush over the puff pastry.

Peel the neck of the butternut squash and thinly slice.  I used a mandoline to slice it evenly.  

Lay the slices of squash over the puff pastry, leaving a small border.  They can overlap a bit.  

Top the puff pastry and squash with another sheet of parchment paper and another baking sheet so the tart is sandwiched between the two sheets.  This will allow the squash slices to steam and stay flat while it cooks.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the top baking sheet and parchment paper.  Brush the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and browned.  

While the tart bakes, stem, seed and slice the chili and place in a small pan with the honey and 2 tablespoons of water.  Boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes until thickened into a syrup.  Set aside.

In another pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot.  Add the sage leaves and cook for about 1 minute until crisp.  Remove the sage and drain on paper towels.  

Remove the tart from the oven once it's crisp and browned.

Drizzle the chili-honey mixture generously over the tart.

Then arrange the fried sage leaves and shaved parmesan on top.  Sprinkle with cracked black pepper.

Slice, and serve!  

Slice into small squares to serve as an appetizer, or in larger squares for a meal-sized portion.  This is really delicious and so easy.  Enjoy!

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