Monday, December 20, 2010

Butternut squash and mushrooms -- a winning combination (2 recipes)

Butternut squash and mushroom tart
Some combinations just seem made for each other: Bert and Ernie, Siegfried and Roy, Hall and Oates ... you get my point.

One made-for-each-other taste combination that has been showing up around our house lately is butternut squash and mushrooms. I think it's the earthiness of both and the different textures of each. Throw in a healthy dose of butter and cheese and you've got the makings of some delish pizza, pasta, casseroles and tarts.

So, lucky you, today I'm giving you two ideas for using this winning combination: a Mushroom, Butternut Squash and Gruyere Tart and Butternut Squash and Mushroom Gnocchi.

A couple of noteworthy observations:
  1. I love both of these because they are hearty and delicious but also a great vegetarian / meatless option
  2. For the tart, I used my cheater's crust shortcut (perfect for weeknight meals and because Food & Wine's recommendation to use puff pastry just seemed a little too rich)
  3. Flavor-wise, the gnocchi dish is reminiscent of the Lidia Bastianich recipe I made recently but way less time-consuming (again, perfect for weeknights!)
  4. If you buy a big enough squash (and they always seem way too damned big, don't they?), you should be able to swing both recipes in one week.

Butternut squash, mushroom and gruyere tart (adapted from Food & Wine)

One 1 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 pound sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon sherry
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 refrigerated pie crust roll, such as Pillsbury

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Spread the squash on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 25 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a bowl.

Increase oven temperature to 400°.

Melt the butter in a frying pan in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring, until tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Toss with the sherry and nutmeg and add to the squash. Fold in cheese and thyme.

Place pie crust dough onto a baking sheet and roll it out to about a 12-inch circle. Place the squash mixture in the center of the dough circle, leaving a 3-inch border all around the edge. Fold the dough toward the center, pressing gently to seal at about 2-inch intervals.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. (Sorry to be so vague, but my oven is wacky.)

+ + + + +

Butternut squash and mushroom gnocchi (inspired by

1-pound butternut squash
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 16-oz. package gnocchi
Shredded Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Spread the squash on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 25 minutes, until tender. Set aside.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

Place butter and olive oil in a skillet and heat until butter is slightly bubbly. Add mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cooked squash and gnocchi and gently toss to coat; season to taste with salt and pepper. Top individual portions with shredded cheese and serve immediately.

(Sorry, no photo -- we ate it all!)


  1. Oh my goodness. I almost drooled on my keyboard after seeing that tart picture. YUM.

  2. Meg, I'd like to think that means my photography skills are improving, but I think it's just that it's a wicked awesome tart and it shows. :-)