Kale and kabocha, that handsome, tasty winter pair, step out together in a hearty pie that looks as fabulous as it tastes. I’ve made galettes with every winter squash I love. Kabocha wins delicious, widely available, and it does not have to be peeled.
Kitchen equipment required: Baking sheet, large nonstick pan, rolling pin
For the galette:
Preheat the oven to 400°. Scrub the squash — you’re not peeling, remember? — cut it in half, scrape out the seeds, and then cut it up into fairly thin wedges, about 1/2 inch at the rind. Toss the squash wedges in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, rubbing them lightly with your hands until all of them are coated. Spread the squash on a baking sheet in one layer and roast it for 35 to 40 minutes, turning the wedges over once halfway through. The squash will be tender and browned.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick pan, toss the onions in it with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook the onions slowly for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden brown. Push the onions out to the edges of the pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the center, then add the chopped garlic and stir it for a minute or two. Add the kale and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss everything together for a few minutes, until the kale has wilted.
Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan, cover it, and leave the kale to cook in its steam for about 15 minutes, checking once or twice to make sure it is moist. Remove the kale from the heat and stir in the raisins, pine nuts, and vegan cream cheese or queso fresco.
When the squash is ready, put aside 6 or 8 of the best-looking wedges and cut the rest into 1/2-inch pieces; you’ll have about 2 cups. Stir the squash cubes gently into the onion and kale mixture. Use your hands for this, as you don’t want the pieces of squash to break up completely.
On a large, floured board, roll out the dough into a thin round about 15 or 16 inches across. Transfer it to an oiled baking sheet and spoon the filling into the center of the dough, spreading it evenly and leaving a 2-inch border all around. Fold the edges of the dough up over the filling in loose pleats. Arrange the reserved squash wedges randomly in the exposed center of the galette.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake the galette for 30 to 35 minutes. Check it after 10 minutes, and if it is beginning to brown quickly, cover it loosely with a piece of foil. The galette is done when the pastry is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove it from the oven and brush the pastry generously with olive oil. Serve the galette hot, warm, or at room temperature.
For the olive oil bread:
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and set it aside for a few minutes, until it begins to foam up. In a mixing bowl, mix the measured flour with the salt.
Whisk the measured olive oil into the yeast mixture. Pour the liquid into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms; it should be quite soft. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead it for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is smooth and pliant, springing back when pushed down. Add sprinkles of flour only as you need them to keep the dough from sticking, but don’t let it get stiff and dry.
Form the dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl, turning it once. Cover the bowl with a towel or with plastic wrap and leave the dough in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about an hour, or until roughly double in size. Rising time can vary depending on air temperature. When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down. It is now ready to roll out, fill, and shape according to the recipe.
You can wrap this dough well (freezer bags are good) and put it away in the refrigerator for a day or two. Even in the refrigerator it will want to keep rising, though very slowly. Don’t worry—just punch it down again when ready to use it. This dough can also be frozen. Allow it to thaw completely and come to room temperature before proceeding with a recipe.
Recipes and images from Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore by Anna Thomas. Copyright © 2016 by Independent Productions, Inc. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.