RECIPE: Roasted Squash and Chestnut Tart

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This savory tart is a colorful festival of autumnal flavors and a portable option to bring to any upcoming gathering. It’s loaded with rich and fragrant chestnuts in both the crust and the filling, along with roasted sweet winter squash, fried sage leaves, pomegranate seeds, and caramelized shallots and garlic. Chestnuts, winter squash, and pomegranates are all high in vitamin C. Makes 1 9-inch round tart or 1 14-inch x 4-inch rectangular tart.

Ingredients

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup chopped jarred chestnuts 

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3 to 5 tablespoons ice water 

For the filling:

1 (2-pound) winter squash such as red kuri, kabocha, delicata, or butternut, seeded, peeled, and sliced into 1/4–inch thick wedges

3 tablespoons plus ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresno chili pepper  

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

½ pound shallots, peeled and sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 1/2 cups chopped jarred chestnuts 

12 fresh sage leaves

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds 

Directions

  1. For the crust: Combine the flour, chestnuts, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse a few times. The mixture will look sandy. Take a bit of mixture and press it together in your hand. If it sticks together and forms a dough, it is ready; if it still crumbles, pulse in more water, one tablespoon at a time. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/8-inch thin. Place into either a 9-inch round or 14-inch x 4-inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom. Pierce the crust all over with the tines of a fork. Cover and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with oven racks on the upper and lower thirds. Place a piece of parchment over the tart dough and cover with pie weights. Bake the crust on the lower rack until it begins to firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights and continue to cook until the crust is golden and set, about 10-15 minutes more. Transfer crust to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. For the filling: Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Place the squash in a large bowl and gently toss with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and chili pepper. Divide mixture and spread out between two parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast the squash, tossing and rotating the pans halfway through cooking, until tender and slightly caramelized, about 30–35 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil, in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until very soft and slightly caramelized, about 15–20 minutes. Add the chestnuts and mix to combine and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. In a small skillet, heat ½ cup oil over medium heat until shimmering. Have a paper towel-lined plate ready. Add a few sage leaves at a time to the hot oil, fry until crisp but still very green, about 10–15 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. 
  6. Assemble the tart: Spread the shallot-chestnut mixture over the bottom of the crust. Top with the roasted squash, overlapping a bit, and garnish with fried sage leaves and pomegranate seeds. If making ahead of time, reheat the tart in a 350-degree oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Vanessa Seder
Vanessa Seder
Vanessa Seder has worked in the food industry for close to 20 years as a recipe developer, food stylist, chef instructor, and author. Her cookbooks include: Eat Cool, (which received positive reviews from the New York Times and elsewhere) and the award-winning Secret Sauces. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, Vanessa has developed recipes for Real Simple, All You, Health, Cooking Light, Hannaford’s Fresh, Ladies Home Journal—where she previously served as an associate food editor, and Maine The Way, among others. She lives with her family in Portland, Maine. She can be found online at vanessaseder.com and Instagram @vseder.

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