Another Rampage: Butternut Squash Galette, Pear Tart, Pickled Cabbage Salad, and Homemade Harissa

I swear, I should be sponsored by Smitten Kitchen, I make her recipes with such frequency.

Pickled Cabbage Salad

Today, we were just getting ready to walk out the door to the local produce market, and I happened to notice the tempting photos of the newest entry for pickled cabbage salad. Having enjoyed my first pickling endeavor so much (the jalapenos are amazing!) and noting that we had everything on hand except a head of green cabbage, I added that to the grocery list and came home excited to try it out.

As Deb of Smitten Kitchen pointed out, what better dish to cut the overly indulgent butter-and-cream cuisine of November?

So I chopped up some green and red cabbage and some red bell pepper, enjoying the luxury of a functional mandoline and the beauty of crispy colorful veggie tendrils, looking forward to a dish that will only get better with time.

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Plus, the remnants of these colorful veggies gave me a few more bits to add to the veggie broth I’ve been saving odds and ends for. I mentioned homemade chicken broth recently, but Alyssa and Jason had suggested that we extend our brothy concoctions to veggies as well, and it appealed to my love for using every last bit. So this has been simmering on the stove all day, too.

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Pear Almond Tart

Have you ever made a tart before? I hadn’t, until today. I’m still not sure if I have or not, but time will tell. Meanwhile, check out this amazing pear tart recipe from (you guessed it) Smitten Kitchen. See that lovely picture? Whether or not mine ends up to be, in fact, a tart, it will NOT look that lovely.

Making the crust.

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Simmering the pears in sugar.

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Truth be told, Matt’s the crust-maker in this kitchen. Pies are very much his division of labor, as shown by the amazing pie crusts he made last Thanksgiving. If you were one of the 40 or so people who attended our Thanksgiving last year, you remember them… maybe. There were about as many bottles of wine as people present, so perhaps the odds of you remembering them are about even.

When, halfway through making the crust and exasperated by the strangeness of it, I reminded him of his crust-making duties, Matt protested that tart crust and pie crust are very different things. To which I responded, “You know enough about them to know that, therefore you know enough to come help me figure this out.”

Which he did. Because he is wonderful. 

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Harissa

Meanwhile (there’s actually a lot of meanwhile when I’m in the kitchen, because as I mentioned, I tend to organize things so I’ve got something to do while I wait for things to rise or chill or bake or what have you), I decided to throw together some homemade harissa based on a recipe from… well, you know.

The recipe was less particular about the types of peppers than I had expected, which allowed me to make excellent use of the wide array of (unidentified) dried peppers that I’ve been accumulating from various traveling friends over the years.

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The result? A jarful of spicy awesome. Lindsey, please don’t stick your pinky in this one! It’s hot, even for me.

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Butternut Squash Galette

Meanwhile meanwhile, one last SK recipe yielded the main course for dinner tonight. I’ve been wanting to try galettes ever since Cerrithwen’s galette parties way back when, but somehow haven’t gotten around to (read: was intimidated by) learning the crust. Which, as it turns out, I was somewhat justified in. Galette crust is tricky too. I thought I was a baker or something once I got good at all these different breads, but it has only just begun.

Peel and dice the butternut squash. See, there in the background! A tribute to my muse. ❤

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Slice the onions.

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Caramelize them.

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Shape the crust into a… well… something approximating a round shape.

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Fill it with the butternut squash, caramelized onions, cheese (I subbed ricotta for fontina, because I had it, and topped with parmesan).

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And enjoy! Which, after I toss together a quick green salad, I shall do.

BAKE OR DEATH

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