Friday, November 29, 2013

Butternut Squash Tart

When you live in Oklahoma and you use the phrase "a house divided," you are usually talking about a couple in which one person cheers for The University of Oklahoma and one cheers for Oklahoma State University. In the case of some good friends of ours, one person is a vegetarian and one is a big fan of all things carnivorous. So when it came time for our small group's Thanksgiving party this week, I made a special dish just for Kevin, and one for his wife Lindsay. 
Kevin is the vegetarian, and for him I tried out an appetizer from a recent issue of Bon Appetit. It was a hit, and is a great way to use up any leftover butternut squash you may have from Thanksgiving. 
Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage
from Bon Appetit Magazine

1 17.3-ounce package of frozen puff pastry
1 butternut squash
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
2 tbs water
1 fresno, jalapeno, or red Thai chile
3 tbs olive oil
fresh sage
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently roll out 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed, on a lightly floured surface to a 10-inch square (just enough to even out). Transfer to prepared sheet.
Brush pastry with 1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp. water. Arrange twelve 1/8-inch-thick rounds peeled butternut squash (cut from squash's neck) over pastry, overlapping as needed and leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place another sheet of parchment paper over squash. Set another large rimmed baking sheet over the tart. (This will weigh down the pastry dough and steam the squash slices.)
Bake until bottom of pastry begins to brown and top begins to puff, about 10 minutes.
Remove top baking sheet and discard top sheet of parchment paper. Brush squash slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with kosher salt. Return tart, uncovered, to oven and bake until pastry is deep golden brown and cooked through, 25–30 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup honey, 1 thinly sliced Fresno, jalapeƱo, or red Thai chile, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat (add another thinly sliced chile if more heat is desired). Boil until thickened slightly and syrupy, about 6 minutes.
Line a plate with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet until just beginning to smoke. Add 12 fresh sage leaves; fry until crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Slice tart. Arrange 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan on top; drizzle with chile-infused honey. 
Garnish with fried sage leaves and a few grinds of black pepper.

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