Kale and Squash Tart with Blue Cheese
Kale and Squash Tart with Blue Cheese is my latest baby kale treat. Squash and kale are always wonderful companions. Baked in a flaky crust and paired with blue cheese, which harmoniously blends their flavors, squash and kale are brought to new heights of goodness. Although the recipe may look complicated, all components may be made ahead and assembled just before baking. The crust dough is extremely easy to make and roll out, and doesn’t have to be moved off the paper on which it’s rolled. Because it’s so easy, this flaky crust is a great recipe for beginning pastry makers. No fat, low fat, and whole fat yogurt all work in the crust. When selecting blue cheese, use cheeses like Cambozola or Gorgonzola Dolce for a creamy texture and mild flavor, or blues like Roquefort or Maytag if you prefer more assertive food.
1 cup all-purpose flour (5.5 ounces or 150 grams)
1/3 cup semolina flour (2 ounces or 60 grams)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick or 1/4 pound)
1/2 cup Greek (strained) plain yogurt or 1/3 cup regular plain yogurt
1 lb. cleaned and diced butternut or other firm-fleshed winter squash (3/4” dice) (1 1/2 lbs. whole squash)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups diced yellow onion (1 large)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 pound baby kale, or cleaned, roughly chopped greens of any kind, wild or domesticated
8 ounces blue cheese, cut or crumbled into 3/4” pieces
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Make Crust Dough: Whir flours and salt together in food processor. Cut butter into chunks, add to food processor, and pulse until butter is mostly combined with flour, but a few pea-sized pieces remain. (You can also cut butter into flour with two knives or a pastry cutter.) Add egg and yogurt and pulse to combine. Dump dough out onto piece of wax paper or plastic wrap and form into solid disk. Wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. (Dough may be made ahead several days, or may be frozen for several months and thawed when ready to use.)
Roast Squash: If starting with whole squash, remove skin with knife or vegetable peeler, cut in half, remove seeds and stringy innards, and cut into 3/4” dice. Put squash on rimmed baking sheet and toss with salt and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until squash is browned on at least one side. Remove from oven. Drain off excess oil (see NOTE below) and place roasted squash in large bowl. (Squash may be roasted several hours ahead.) Reduce heat to 375°F.
Make Filling: While squash is cooking, sauté onion, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until it just starts to brown. Add garlic and Aleppo pepper and cook for 1 minute. Stir in baby kale, handful by handful, and cook just until wilted. (If using older kale or other sturdy greens, blanch 3-5 minutes, or until tender, in boiling, salted water before adding to filling.) Turn off heat, and stir in rosemary and thyme. Add to bowl with roasted squash. When cool, add blue cheese and toss to combine. (Filling may be made several hours ahead.)Assemble Tart: Remove dough from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375°F if it isn’t already hot from roasting squash. On parchment paper, roll out dough into 13” circle. Trim off any grossly uneven edges (no need to make the edge completely uniform; see picture for acceptable edge unevenness). Move dough and parchment paper onto baking sheet. Dump filling onto dough, and evenly spread it out, making sure to leave 2” border all the way around filling. Fold edges of dough up over filling, pleating as you go so dough lies flat around the curves. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned. Serve immediately, or let cool and serve at room temperature.
NOTE: If I have time to cook the onions after I’ve roasted the squash, I use oil drained off the roasted squash for sautéing onions.