Dropping in briefly today to wish you and yours joy and respite in the last few weeks of the year. December, man. So much goodness, so much heaviness, all at once. For me it’s always been a month where the decisions, assumptions, and challenges that I had convinced myself were reconciled over the year seem to make their way back up to the surface. You know what I mean, right? Those wounds you thought you’d healed, the parts of yourself you thought you’d made peace with don’t look so sparkly anymore. It’s my birthday in a few days, so I think that has more pull in the reflection carousel than the holidays, although the lines have always been blurry for me. There’s this challenge to stay light and grateful amidst those nudges to take stock after another full year.
Last week two dear friends were in a rollover accident. The truck was destroyed, and somehow they both walked away with bruises and broken fingers. It was an event that reminded me holy moses-jesus-buddha-mohammed do I still have SO much work to do in the grace and forgiveness department. It seems the minute I get too comfortable with the idea, or illusion, really, that I’m operating at acceptable levels of compassion or humility or unselfish love, life and circumstance has a way of calling my bluff and putting me on my knees again. I’m glad for that.
And so, December. Here to enjoy and embrace and remember and love one another in the best way we know how. Stitch by stitch, day by day. We try to be good humans, we fail often, but we keep trying. And that is the beautiful thing.
Winter Vegetable + Gorgonzola Galette
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 fennel bulbs, quartered
- 5 small-ish beets, quartered
- 6-8 fancy carrots, halved
- 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 4-6 oz crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard (or more, to your preference)
- salt/pepper to taste
In a bowl, mix the flour with the sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in half of the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in the remaining butter. Pour in water then begin to mix and knead the dough until a ball forms and the mixture is no longer shaggy looking. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange rinsed and prepared vegetables on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the carrots are just starting to soften and are a little al dente in the thicker regions. Sprinkle with a hearty amount of sea salt, then aside and cool. In a mixing bowl, combine parsley, shallots, cooled vegetables, and a the Dijon. Stir to coat.
On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Begin with a spoonful of the veggie-mixture into the center of the dough. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola. Repeat layering filling and cheese until you run out of ingredients and can top with more cheese. Fold the border over your veggie-cheese tower, pleating the edge to make it fit. Finish outside exposed dough with a milk or egg wash. Bake for 30-40 minutes in the 400′ oven. Cut into wedges and serve warm.