Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kuri Squash, mushroom, and kale tart with a rosemary crust

Kuri squash is my new find and new love as well. It has superceded kabocha squash which I was in love with till I found Kuri Squash. Sweet fleshed, not ultra dense, and delicately flavored is how I would describe it. Since it is not too dense, it cooks fairly quickly.
In this recipe, I use it as a base for the tart, which has rosemary incorporated in the dough. The woodsiness of the rosemary and the delicate earthiness of the kuri squash complement each other extremely well.
The portobello mushrooms add some meatiness and the mild bitterness of the Tuscan kale contrasts with the sweetness of the squash.
To finish the tart, I add freshly grated sharp Asiago, which melts lightly on the tart, allowing all the other elements of the tart to be visible.

Kuri squash, mushroom and kale tart with a rosemary crust

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for greasing the tart pan
3/4th cup water
Extra flour for dusting
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced

  1. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
  2. Transfer the flour mixture to the food processor with the metal blade inserted. With the motor running,  add the olive oil, then ¾ cup water. When the dough comes together in a ball, turn off the motor. Scrape the dough out of the food processor and knead very gently on a lightly floured board just until the dough is smooth. Do not over work or the dough will be tough.
  3. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Press each ball into a disk, about 4 inches in diameter. Dust lightly with flour if the dough is sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for and hour or longer at room temperature.
  4. Sprinkle a small amount of unbleached flour over your work surface. Put the piece of dough on it, and lightly dust the top with more flour. Roll the dough from the center to the far edge, in one direction only, turning the dough, until it is quite thin, with a diameter of at least 12 inches. Keep dusting lightly with flour if the dough sticks.
  5. Spray a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom with olive oil. Gently fold the circle of dough in half and lift onto the pan, with the fold in the middle of the pan. Unfold the dough so that it covers the pan. Press gently into the pan. Using the rolling pin, roll over the tart pan to trim the edges. Save the trimmings to roll once again to make another 3 inch tart.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack in the preheated oven for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool before adding the filling.
10 oz peeled, deseeded and cubed (1/2 inch each) kuri squash (If not available substitute with butternut squash)
1 small yellow onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 leaves of tuscan kale, ribs discarded and the leaves cut into thin strips
1 large portobello mushroom, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Dried chili flakes
3/4th cup - 1 cup grated Asiago cheese (depending on how cheesy you like it)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Toss the squash and onions with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of dried chili flakes. Bake on the top rack of a preheated oven for 20 minutes to 25 minutes until the squash is soft and the onions are softened but not charred.
  3. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms with a tablespoon of olive oil and minced garlic for 4 to 5 minutes over medium high heat. After 3 minutes of cooking add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add one more tablespoon olive oil and add the chopped kale leaves with 1/8th teaspoon salt. Saute over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a 1/4 cup water and turn the heat to medium low. Cover and cook till the leaves are completely wilted and the water has dried - about 15 minutes. Check every 5 minutes to ensure the water has not completely dried up.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F, while you assemble the tart. Once the crust has cooled, spread the roasted squash and onions on the base. Use a fork to mash the squash so that it spreads out evenly. Arrange the sauteed mushrooms and sauteed kale such that they are not in clumps. Finally sprinkle the grated cheese and place the tart in the middle shelf and bake for 25 to 30 minutes till the crust looks golden brown at the edges and the cheese has softened (aged Asiago will not melt). 
  6. Cool for 5 minutes - cut into wedges and serve. Delicious!
Makes ONE 9 inch tart


  1. Hi Swati, I've been using your blog to create dishes for a while...they're all delicious (and I haven't even exhausted the list). Just wanted to let you know. Please don't stop posting recipes, they're hugely appreciated in my household.

    1. Thanks. That is definitely a huge motivation. Let me know if some are more appreciated than others.