Take-out was a temping last minute dinner option, but instead I found myself searching the freezer for something that I could turn into a suitable meal. We had planned to eat dinner at my parents’ house, but a wind storm ripped through Santa Cruz that day/evening, knocking out power to many, and even bringing trees down on top of houses. Luckily, the latter did not happen to my parents’ house, but no power and a tree blocking their road meant a definite plan B.
Back to the freezer search. The first thing that caught my eye was puff pastry, an impulse purchase I had made last week. How fortuitous! I decided I wanted to make some sort of puff pastry tart or “pizza.” Now, what to top it with … ah! Half a butternut squash, peeled and cubed that I froze last week. This would do. I added some fresh rosemary from the garden, caramelized our last onion, and cut up some coppa (one of our favorite charcuterie offerings from El Salchichero) to add a little salty kick. This rustic puff pastry tart was a success. Feel free to adapt this for whatever needs to get used in your freezer on a stormy evening. It would also make a lovely appetizer when cut into squares.
Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion & Rosemary Tart
(Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen)
1 yellow onion, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cubed butternut squash
Flour, for dusting work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1/4 cup coppa, diced (can also use salami, or cooked, crumbled bacon or pancetta)
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (enough for sprinkling on top)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3 ounces)
Fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and a little pad of butter over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add sliced onions and pinch of salt. Cook until caramelized, about 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. When onions are a beautiful light golden brown color, add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Stir to coat the onions, then remove from heat.
- While onions are caramelizing, place cubed butternut squash (if frozen, defrosted first) on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender with a fork, stirring halfway through. Turn oven heat down to 400 degrees.
- On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a rectangle (or square – whatever – it’s a rustic tart!) Carefully transfer puff pastry onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, lightly “score” the pastry dough, 1-inch in from the edges. Then using a fork, poke holes inside the markings. This will ensure that the outside trim puffs up and the middle stays flat. Bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
- Scatter mozzarella cheese and some the Pecorino Romano over the puff pastry. Next, top with the roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, rosemary, and sliced coppa. Finish with a little more pecorino. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
- Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and edges are golden brown. Slice and serve.