Puff pastry with squash, shallots and mushrooms

Serves four hungry for lunch, or ten as a snack …

This one is a pepper squash implementation:


Measurements below are approximate – take them as a guide, not as a precise recipe. My resultant tart measures 25×35 cmm (xxx in) and is made with:

  • 600g peeled, deseeded squash flesh, cut into 1cm-thick chunky slices; pictures below record an example of the butternut squash.
  • 4 large shallots (300g?), peeled and cut into halves or quarters,
  • olive oil,
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,
  • A few rosemary and/or thyme sprigs (could be replaced by a tsp of dried stuff, when in dire straits),
  • 300g large, firm mushrooms, thickly sliced,
  • about 550g ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry ,
  • 100g washed-rind cheese (stinking bishop, ogleshield or taleggio) , or other cheese configuration, with a significant character – not the mozzarella type.
  1. Heat the oven to 190C/375F
  2. Put the squash and shallots on a large baking tray.
  3. Pour over the oil, season and scatter on the herbs.
  4. Roast for 15 minutes (until the squash starts to soften), stir in the mushrooms.
  5. Cook until everything is cooked and starting to caramelise (no more than 20 minutes).
  6. Take the vegetables out of the oven, and, if you need the same baking tray for the rest of the process, remove the cooked vegetables into a bowl, wipe the tray dry.
  7. Turn up the oven to 200C/400F.
  8. Prepare the pastry (e.g. roll it until the size is somewhat bigger than the baking tray, if your tray has a vertical side edge).
  9. Lay the pastry sheet on the tray and score a border 2cm in all around the edge; don’t cut right through.
  10. Spread the veg over the pastry, leaving the border clear.
  11. Slice the cheese thickly and arrange on top.
  12. Add more herbs and seasoning, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
  13. Serve with a salad of bitter or peppery leaves to balance the sweet squash and shallots.

If you don’t want to take the pastry route, give the roast squash, shallot and mushroom mix a little longer in the oven and serve on a bed of leaves as a salad, dressed with a little more oil and a trickle of good balsamic vinegar.


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