Butternut Squash Leek and Gruyere Tart is a lovely French-inspired midwinter meal perfect for lunch, brunch or light supper.
(Update to a post originally published on February 6, 2017.)
My husband and I have been determined to do something with the butternut squash we harvested from our garden. Last year, we let them sit in the pantry a little bit too long. The butternut squash we had to wrestle away from the hot Southern sun, clay soil conditions and umpteen varieties of insects was last weekend’s goal.
Hello, Butternut Squash Leek and Gruyere Tart! This is one of our perennial favorites!
This lovely French-inspired tart is perfect for lunch, brunch or light supper you and your guests will love! A personal chef client of mine requested this tart every month for nine months straight! It takes a little bit of prep, but the result is well worth it!
How to make Butternut Squash, Leek and Gruyere Tart:
- Start with the crust. If you’re comfortable making your own crust, by all means, use it.
- Place in a 9 or 9 1/2-inch tart pan with removable bottom then dock the pastry with a fork. This allows for air circulation and more even baking.
- Place a piece of parchment over the crust and fill with pie weights or old, expired lentils, rice or dried chickpeas then bake the crust. This is referred to as “blind” baking. If using outdated pulses or rice, do not put them back into your pantry for consumption. I keep them separate from my other baking supplies.
Then, peel the butternut squash. Now, I know it’s not fun, but I do a crazy amount of butternut squash soup for a certain client and here’s the easiest way I have found to peel the butternut squash.
Tips for peeling butternut squash:
- Cut the squash into two or three pieces widthwise. If the squash has a really long neck, cut into three pieces. If it’s smaller, two pieces will work.
- Stand the squash up on a cutting board and with a good, sharp knife, remove the peel slicing downward toward your cutting board. Rotate the squash as you work.
- To peel the remaining portion of the squash, slice the squash in half vertically. Then, slice into half-moon shapes and peel with a paring knife.
- Cut into pieces as desired!
- For this Butternut Squash, Leek and Gruyere Tart, cut the squash into approximately 1/2-inch cubes, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast while cooking the leeks.
- While the squash is roasting, work on the leeks. Leeks are those huge scallion-looking things that can appear intimidating. They’re really not; you just need to know what to do with them. Leeks are a member of the onion family and one of the few members of that family you wouldn’t want to consume raw. The luscious leek flavor is coaxed out through cooking.
- Remove the root and slice off the top where you see the tender light green part meeting tough upper growth. Then, slice in half lengthwise and cut out any remnant of the root end.
- After slicing it lengthwise, thinly slice it then immerse into a bowl of water. Leeks often have mud or grit hidden in their layers. A quick soak in cool water and a “swish” with your hands will help loosen any dirt and it will fall to the bottom.
- Then cook low and slow to bring out that divine leek flavor! Leeks can burn quickly so keep an eye on them. A little splash of water occasionally will help prevent that.
- Layer the butternut squash, leeks and cheese in the prepared and blind-baked crust. Gruyere has a lovely, nutty flavor and it grates and melts beautifully! It’s a little pricey, however, a good, less expensive substitute is Grand Cru.
- Pour in the rich custard….
- …and Butternut Squash, Leek and Gruyere Tart! French-inspired loveliness!
Serve this Butternut Squash, Leek and Gruyere Tart with a green salad on the side simply tossed with oil and vinegar. Soooo French!
Love butternut squash? You’ll love these recipes!
- Butternut Squash, Leek and Goat Cheese Galette
- Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Almonds and Parmesan Cheese
- Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion and Cambozola Quesadillas
- Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme and Taleggio
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- 1 (9-inch) pie crust, homemade or refrigerated
- 1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large leek or 2 medium leeks, white and light green part only, halved and thinly sliced (2-3 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup half-and-half
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Press the crust into a 9 or 9 1/2-inch tart pan that has a removable bottom. Place it on a baking sheet. Dock the bottom in several places with a fork. Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust and fill with pie weights, old dried beans, rice or lentils. Blind bake for approximately 15 minutes or until crust is baked through. Let cool.
- Toss butternut squash cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender, being careful not to brown it. Drain off any excess oil and allow to cool.
- While squash is roasting, heat remaining olive oil and butter in a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the leek and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 12-15 minutes or until very soft, being careful not to brown the leek. (Add a little water if necessary.) Add the garlic during the last minute of cooking and cook until fragrant. Take off the heat and drain off any excess fat. Let cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Gently toss butternut squash, leeks and cheese together and place in the prepared crust, spreading the ingredients out as evenly as possible.
- Whisk together eggs and half-and-half, season with salt and black pepper and pour it over the vegetable and cheese mixture.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until set and top is lightly browned.
Amount Per Serving Calories 527Total Fat 40gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 132mgSodium 555mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 18g