People tend to be a bit scared of pastry, but because this is olive oil pastry there’s no labour intensive rubbing butter into flour and it’s very pliable and forgiving. So fear not, pie is your friend! Although this is more specifically a galette, which is a fancy french word for a slightly easier, lazier, free-form pie, baked flat on a baking sheet rather than in a pie tin. The sweetness of the butternut squash and red onion works perfectly with the saltiness of the feta, and the spelt flour lends a subtle nuttiness to the pastry. But if you can’t find spelt flour, plain should work fine too. Because the method is pretty simple it shouldn’t be too hard to get it looking pretty with the folded over edges, but don’t worry too much if it ends up looking a little – ahem – rustic; it’s all part of the charm.
Makes one medium sized galette (serves 2)
-150g spelt flour (or plain would work too)
-3 tbsps olive oil
-4 tbsps cold water
-1 tsp dried rosemary
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 a butternut squash (about 400-500g),
diced into 3cm chunks
-1 red onion, peeled, halved and cut into wedges
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-2 tsp dried rosemary (or a couple of sprigs
fresh rosemary if you can get it)
-1/2 tsp salt
-a good pinch black pepper
-60 g feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Then make your pastry. Put the flour, rosemary and salt in a large bowl and mix with a fork or whisk until well combined, then add in your olive oil and water. Begin by mixing with a fork or spoon but you’ll find it will soon all start sticking together, at which point it’s easier to get your hands in there and use kneading motions to incorporate the wet and dry ingredients to a dough. Once you’ve got the dough into a ball, form it into a fat disk, wrap in clingfilm and put it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour, while you make your filling.
Take your chopped veg and toss together on a large baking tray with with the olive oil, cinnamon, rosemary salt and pepper, then put in the oven to roast for 15 to 20 minutes. You want the butternut squash just cooked but still firm with a good bite, because it’s going to have more time in the pastry. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before you put it on the pastry.
Take your pastry out of the fridge, and sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Unwrap the pastry, sprinkle each side with a little flour then put the disc between the sheets of baking paper and begin to roll it out with a rolling pin (or a wine bottle or similar if you don’t have one), stopping and rotating the dough often as you go so that you’re rolling it out in all directions to keep it’s circular shape. Keep going until you’ve got really quite a thin circle, about 0.5cm thick and the size of a pizza. Then peel off the top sheet of baking paper and move the pastry base still on the bottom sheet to a flat baking sheet. Now it’s time to assemble the galette, so start by heaping the butternut squash and onion in an even layer all over the pastry base but leaving a couple of inches of bare pastry at the edges, because this is going to be folded over the edge of the filling to keep it all in. Then crumble the feta in chunks on top of the squash. Now it’s time to fold over the outer crust, which you do by lifting and then pressing down the pastry onto the edge of the filling, folding a small section at a time then rotating the galette slightly and working your way round so that you get a kind of pleated appearance where the folds overlap. Once all the edges are folded up over the filling, place the galette in the oven to cook for about 35 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown, the vegetables are soft and the feta is gently toasted.
Once it’s cooked, remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve hot. I like this with a salad or some cooked greens, but it’s also great as it is. Although without something else alongside I would be tempted to change the ‘serves 2’ to ‘serves me’.