DASH AND LOLA'S TART OF GOAT CHEESE, SQUASH, AND WINTER GREENS:

Inspired by Lulu's Provençal Table.
Feeds 4.

tart dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
8 tablespoon (one stick) unsalted butter, very cold
3-4 tablespoons ice water

squash/greens topping:
olive oil
1 small winter squash (butternut, kabocha, or pumpkin work great), peeled and cored and chopped into dime-sized chunks
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 bunch of winter greens (chard, kale or collards), tender leaves only–use stalks for something else
grated parmesan
salt
pepper

cheese filling:
1 cup goat cheese, fresh not aged
1 egg
big pinch of salt
pepper
2 tablespoons cream or half and half

Make the tart dough at least an hour, preferably several hours before you need it. You can do it by hand or in a food processor. Mix together flour and salt. Cut in butter (with fingers, pastry cutter, two knives, or food processor). Stop when the butter pieces are about the size of peas. Add half of the water (leaving ice cubes behind) and pulse two times with the food processor. If you're doing it by hand just mix a bit with a fork. It should start to look a bit stringy in places with some dry patches. Add a bit more water if it looks more dry than stringy. Pulse or mix again. Dump loose dough onto a big piece of plastic wrap. Don't touch it anymore with your hands. Press the dough together into a disc with the plastic wrap.  Don't overmix. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour. If I'm in a hurry I'll put it in the freezer for 45 minutes.

Roll the dough out and press into any shape tart pan (I used a 9-inch round).  Chill for another 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook tart shell until you start to smell it and it looks less moist, about 10 minutes. Keep oven on.

Drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a saute pan and add diced onion after about a minute. Saute until translucent. Turn down to low. Grate (or thinly slice or press) in the garlic. Stir until you smell nutty garlic smell (less than a minute). Stir in the squash. Put a lid on and cook until squash is just tender. Check it every 5 minutes or so. It cooks very fast. Toss in the winter greens, season with salt and pepper, and put the lid back on. Turn off the heat. Leave for a few minutes to wilt. Stir and taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

By hand or with any kind of mixer, cream together the goat cheese, egg, cream, salt, and pepper until light and smooth (3 minutes or so).

Evenly spread goat cheese mixture over the bottom of the tart shell (when the tart shell is a little warm it's even easier to spread because it melts a little bit). Place squash mixture on top of the goat cheese (it's ok if it's still warm). Spread it carefully and evenly to prevent the top and bottom layers from mixing. Grate tons of parmesan on top. Cooking time will vary anywhere from about 30-50 minutes. Check it often and take it out when the goat cheese is set and parmesan is golden brown. Careful not to overcook it. It will continue to set once it's out of the oven.

Variations: Except for the tart dough, there is a lot of flexibility with the ingredients.
  • Mix two different kinds of cheese (blue and goat OR ricotta and quark).
  • Use potatoes instead of squash. 
  • Do 8 mini tarts instead of 1 big one. 
  • Top the cheese filling with caramelized onions, anchovies and niçoise olives (my mom and I have been doing this combination for years). It's like a very rich pissaladière. I will do an entire post on caramelized onions sometime soon. If you want some good tips right away buy Lulu's Provençal Table and check out her pissaladière recipe
DASH AND BELLA
http://www.dashandbella.blogspot.com
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