I read yesterday that we have a new way of qualifying the people we date. We’re supposed to thoroughly inspect their refrigerators. Yea… let’s go ahead and add that to the to-do list.
Apparently, what our dates have in their refrigerators is supposed to tell us a lot about who they are, how they might behave in a relationship, and what kind of mustard they like.
Really though? As if dating weren’t hard enough. Now we have to finagle our way back to our date’s house (which actually isn’t that hard at all) and find an excuse to rummage through their refrigerator? This concept has flaws.
Now I’m thinking about the status of my own refrigerator (because, I’m sooo self-centered). If a date were to look through my fridge, they’d find an entire shelf dedicated to condiments, milks of various ages animals and nuts, a container of raw sauerkraut, and TWO WHOLE PIES. It’s basically a cry for help.
You won’t find these Roasted Squash Tarts in the refrigerator. I ate two and took the rest to a Halloween party. A party! Where I hung out with friends. I have friends! My refrigerator is trying to pawn me off as a mustard-loving, milk-enthusiast with a passion for pies. True, but not really the whole picture.
Dating is complicated.
In other news, it’s ROASTING SEASON! I know because my feet are cold and I want to throw the entire contents of my refrigerator into a hot oven.
Let’s roast some vegetables and make these dang tarts!
Roasted vegetables are just THE BEST! I used an acorn squash and peeled off the tough skin post-roast.
If your instinct is to just grab a fork and forget the tart, I understand you… but these little veggie pockets are pretty rad.
This crust comes together differently than the all butter crust situations you usually see here. This time we’re using olive oil and seeds!
We’re going to need eggs and cold water, too. This is our moisture and binder.
I love a shaggy dough.
Here’s how you know I’m a baker and not a pastry chef. If you tell me to roll out a perfect square, I will somehow manage to roll out rectangle-ish shapes… and just make them work.
I tried to divide the dough and roll out individual squares. Impossible. I now think it would be easier to roll out the entire disk of dough, and then use a knife to cut out perfect squares.
This is how we learn.
The rolled crust is stuffed with our smashed roasted vegetables. Opposite sides are folded up towards each other and the seams are sealed. Little pockets!
I love these little vegetable pockets, served warm with a small spoonful of sriracha. The crust is crisp and flakey and the vegetables are married and soft. I also like the little crunch from the poppy and sunflower seeds! Mission accomplished.
Roasted Squash and Mushroom Tarts
makes 4 to 6 tarts
adapted from The French Market
For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup olive oil
For the Filling:
1 small acorn squash
1 medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic
2 big handfuls cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
1 large egg, beaten in a small bow for egg wash
To make the crust, in a medium bowl combine flour, salt, seeds, and black pepper. In a small bowl whisk together egg, egg white, water, and olive oil. Whisk well to thoroughly combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together with a fork. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough comes together in a disk. Add a bit more water or flour as necessary. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator while you make the filling. Crust can also be made ahead and left to rest in the fridge for two days.
To make the filling, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut acorn squash in half and remove inside fibers and seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2-inch thick semicircles and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Slice the onion in half, remove the skins and slice into 1/4-inch semicircles. Place the onions on the rimmed baking sheet as well.
Smash the clove of garlic and toss it on the baking sheet.
Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel, slice into bite-size pieces and place on the baking sheet.
Drizzle vegetables with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast.
Roast until all vegetables are softened and browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle.
Once cool, scrape the soft squash from their skins and place in a medium bowl. Spoon the onions, garlic and mushrooms into the bowl as well. Add cumin and garam masala (if using), and season to taste.
To assemble the tarts, first line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Next, let’s roll out the olive oil crust. There are two ways to roll out the crust. You can divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece out into 8×8-inch squares. Or. You can roll the entire disk out into a 1/4-inch thickness, and use a knife to slice the dough into 6×6 or 8×8-inch squares. You can re-roll any scraps of dough once to create another tart.
Arrange your pastry squares on a clean work surface. Add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of filling into the center of each pastry. Lightly brush the edges of each pastry with egg wash.
Bring two opposite corners of the dough together into the center and pinch together. Lift the two remaining corners up to the center, matching the seams so they meet to form a raised ridge. Crimp to seal. You should have a square turnover forming an X on top. Carefully lift and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough squares. Brush the tops of each tart lightly with egg wash.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving warm. Tarts can also be reheated in a warm oven covered with foil.