I’ve had my eye on a squash, gorgonzola and sage tart recipe for quite a while (since butternut squash came into season nearly two months ago actually) but kept running into two minor issues. Firstly, I couldn’t find any gorgonzola, and secondly, I couldn’t find any sage. With two of the three main ingredients eluding me, spot the minor flaw in my plan to try the recipe out… I can deal without access to gorgonzola – after all, I can always substitute a creamy blue if absolutely necessary – but the lack of sage is a tough one because I have quite a few recipes that require sage, and I’ve definitely read recipes in Kiwi publications that call for sage. So it must be available somewhere, but the question is where? After weeks and weeks of unsuccessfully scouring the supermarket aisles, I was starting to think that my squash, gorgonzola and sage tart wasn’t going to happen.
Then, at the farmers’ market on Saturday, I spotted some sage. I snapped up the last bag a little over-enthusiastically and just managed to stop myself from doing a victory dance on the spot. I think the stallholder lady thought I was a little crazy (imagine if I had done the dance…), but I really didn’t care. I had sage, therefore I was winning. (Winning at what, I have no idea. The great game of tart-making?) That afternoon I decided to go investigate the big supermarket that’s rather further than the smaller one that I usually go to (and only barely within carrying-heavy-shopping walking distance) and guess what? They had Kiwi-made gorgonzola-style cheese. Jackpot! Incidentally, they also had sage. Oh. So clearly my usual supermarket just makes poor stock choices (they both belong to the same chain). Good to know. Anyway, armed with my Kiwi gorgonzola and sage, I enthusiastically tried the tart. Which took forever, by the way, because I forgot that you’re supposed to roast the squash first. But it was definitely worth waiting for! The wonderfully autumnal flavours are perfect together, with the slight sweetness of the butternut squash cut through by the gorgonzola’s “bite,” and the sage adding that little extra dimension.
Squash, gorgonzola & sage tart
Serves 6-8 as a starter, 3-4 as a main course
Adapted from Baking – 100 everyday recipes
Remember to take the roasting time of the butternut squash when planning this recipe (totally not speaking from experience, ahem). As a rough guide, I found that 500g was half of a large butternut squash. Pumpkin would also work instead of butternut squash. If you’re not too keen on blue cheese, I’d suggest reducing the amount of gorgonzola a little bit, but that depends entirely on personal taste. This tart is delicious eaten both warm and cold, and can easily be prepared in advance, though the pastry will begin to soften after about a day.
500g of butternut squash
1 tsp organic rapeseed oil
Quiche pastry (click for recipe – it’ll make twice as much as you need)
5 tbsp crème fraîche
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
200g gorgonzola (or similar creamy blue cheese)
10-15 fresh sage leaves
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C. Butter and flour a 24 cm fluted tart tin.
2. Cut the butternut squash in half (if necessary) and place the halves cut-side up on a baking tray. Drizzle the cut side with the oil and bake for 30-40 mins until browned and soft. Set aside to cool a little, then remove the seeds (you can toast them and use them as a snack). Scoop the flesh out into a large bowl and throw the skin away.
3. Meanwhile, whilst the squash is roasting, make the pastry. Roll it out and line the prepared tart tin. Trim the edges, prick the pastry with a fork and refrigerate for 30 mins.
4. Blind bake (line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans) the pastry for 10 mins (the oven should still be at 190°C), then remove the baking beans and baking paper before baking a further 5 mins.
5. Whilst waiting for the pastry to bake, mash the squash flesh with a fork. Add 2 tbsp of the crème fraîche, season with freshly ground black pepper and mix together. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and remaining crème fraîche and set aside.
6. When the pastry has been blind baked, thinly spread the mustard over the base of the quiche, then evenly cover with the squash mixture, making sure to spread it right into the edges of the pastry case. Crumble or slice the gorgonzola and spread evenly over the top of the squash layer. Top this with the egg mixture, making sure that it settles evenly across the tart. Decorate the surface with the sage leaves. Bake for 30-35 mins until cooked through and golden. Allow to rest in the tin for 10 mins before turning out and serving accompanied by a green salad.
PS – I apologise for the dreadful photos – I was pretty hungry by the time this came out of the oven, so I made do with my phone. Turns out that was a bad plan.