When the harsh winter days arrive, you now have a delicious baking project to keep you busy in the kitchen. This savory winter vegetable patty with feta cheese has a tender, flaky crust topped with roasted seasonal vegetables and tangy feta cheese. Isn’t it beautiful?
- FOR THE DOUGH:
- ¾ cups Unsalted pasture butter, chilled
- 1-⅓ cup Plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Cold water, or as needed
- 1 whole Beaten egg or 2 tablespoons heavy cream for brushing the crust
- FOR FILLING:
- ½ whole Medium sized butternut squash, peeled and sliced into thin disks
- 1 cup Kale, Torn, Stems Removed
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted pasture butter
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- ¼ whole Red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 6 ounces, weight Havarti cheese, grated
- ⅓ cups Crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cups Fresh basil, to garnish
- 1 pinch Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pinch Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
For the crust, cut the butter into about ¼ inch cubes and refrigerate until very cold. In a bowl, combine the flour and sea salt and add the cubed butter, stirring to coat well. You can use a pastry cutter to cut the cubes into small pieces and work them into the flour or you can use your hands. I prefer to use my hands as I can feel better when the butter is fully incorporated, but it requires a bit more manual work. When the butter is incorporated into the flour (about the size of a pea and the flour clumps together), pour 2 tablespoons of ice water over the dough and work it in gently with your hands. If the dough is still dry, add the last tablespoon and work it again until just mixed. The dough should easily come together in a large mass.
Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured clean surface. Gather the dough into one piece and begin rolling it out with a rolling pin until it is about ½ inch thick all around. Fold the dough over itself and press down, pinching the edges to create a clean rectangle. Repeat this process to create a square. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
While the dough is cooling, prepare the vegetable filling. Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To prepare the butternut squash, cut off the ends and then cut the squash in half, leaving the rounder bottom part for another occasion. Cut the top half down the middle, lengthwise, then each half into 3 to 4 portions about 1 inch thick. Remove the skin and thinly slice each disc in a semicircle into about 5 slices. Brush them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread them on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes on each side (24 minutes total, flipping halfway through cooking), then broil for 3 more minutes, or until golden brown and barely crispy around the edges . Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
While the butternut squash cooks, prepare the kale. Peel the leaves off the stem (you’ll be using about 2 stems here), then tear them into pieces no larger than 1-2 inches.
Heat the butter and oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until lightly sizzling, then add the sliced red onion and turn the heat down immediately. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and almost caramelized, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and kale and continue to stir as the kale wilts. Once the kale is cooked through (dark green and wilted), turn off the heat and transfer the vegetables to a plate to cool completely.
Place the chilled crust dough on the counter for a few minutes to soften a bit before you start shaping. Meanwhile, lightly flour a clean work surface and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Use a rolling pin to knock (yes, knock) the dough to help soften it before rolling it out. You can also squeeze it gently with your hands. Start rolling the dough into a rectangle, fixing any edges that are starting to crack. You want the crust to be about ¼ to ½ inch thick. Transfer the crust to the prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle the shredded havarti cheese over the dough, leaving only a small empty space all around. This is important when the crust is folded over – sprinkling the cheese closer to the edge (but not all the way) ensures that some of the cheese will remain stuffed into the crust. Delicious.
Alternating between squash and kale, layer the vegetables over the cheese in two columns, slightly overlapping each layer. Fold the crust over so that the edge of the crust touches the outer edge of each column of vegetables. Make sure some of the cheese stays inside the crust! Sprinkle the feta over the vegetables. Beat the egg and brush it over the crust to create a golden crisp.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until the crust takes on a deep golden color and is firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely on baking sheet before cutting.
Sprinkle chopped fresh basil, salt and pepper on top and cut into 12 squares to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Enjoy!