Butternut Squash & Roasted Garlic Crostata with Parmesan-Herb Cornmeal Crust

2 heads garlic

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 3 ¼ to 3 ½-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch cubes

Freshly ground black pepper

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

¼ cup cornmeal

½ cup grated Parmegiano-Reggiano

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, shredded

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons, or more, cold water

 

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cut the stem ends off the heads of garlic to expose the cloves within. Place the garlic in the center of a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and seal the foil tightly. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, or until meltingly tender and golden brown. Let cool to room temperature, peel, and mince to a paste, reserving the garlic oil for another use.

 

Toss together the butternut squash and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large bowl. Spread on a baking tray and roast for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until tender. Let cool to room temperature and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Combine the flour, cornmeal, ¼ cup of the Parmegiano, chives, and thyme in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water and pulse until the dough just comes together. Test the dough by squeezing a small amount together with your fingertips. If the dough holds together, it’s ready. If it’s crumbly, add up to 1 more tablespoon of water and pulse 2 more times. Transfer the dough to a work surface, bring together into a ball, and then flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

 

Increase the oven temperature to 425˚F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a 14-inch wide, ¼-inch thick circle. Roll the dough up on the rolling pin and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking tray. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

 

Spread the roasted garlic evenly in the center of the dough circle, leaving a 2-inch border at the edge, and mound the squash on it. Fold the edge of the dough over the squash, pleating it as you go. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes.

 

Sprinkle the crostata with the remaining ¼ cup Parmegiano. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly, cut into portions, and serve.

 

Makes 1 large crostata, serving 6 as a vegetarian main course. Perfect in the fall and winter, when butternut squash is abundant.

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