Squash should be its own food group.  Year round there are endless colors, shapes and textures available. Steamed, grilled, baked, roasted.  Sweet or savory.  DELICIOUS!

Here’s my favorite butternut squash recipe.  Slightly sweet, gooey with cheese and a hint of heat. The best of everything. And it travels easily as a potluck dish!

I substitute a rice crust for the tart shell for 3 reasons: 1 – makes it gluten free 2- uses any leftover rice in the fridge 3 – ITS WAY EASIER TO MAKE.

Instead of Gruyere, sometimes I use cheddar and add thinly sliced onions or fresh goat cheese since I live next to the Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy!

Butternut Squash Tart with Chile Honey

Total Time:3 hr 45 min (2hrs if using the rice crust)
Prep:20 min
Cook:1 hr 40 min
Yield:8-12 servings


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 butternut squash (1 3/4 pounds), peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
3 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (I leave these out)
1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, cut into small cubes (or any cheese you like)
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Special equipment: a 9-inch spring-form pan


For the crust (see rice crust substitute below): Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan. Put the flour, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until thoroughly combined with no visible chunks of butter. Add the egg and pulse until the dough just starts to clump. Transfer the dough to the spring-form pan and press it evenly on the bottom and 1 inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling: Adjust an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss the butternut squash slices with the melted butter, sage, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.

Sprinkle the Parmesan and breadcrumbs evenly on the bottom of the crust, then scatter some the Gruyere cubes.  Lay out a single layer of butternut squash slices, breaking off pieces of squash to fill any gaps then scatter another layer of Gruyere over the squash. Top with another layer of the butternut squash slices and then more Gruyere. Repeat these layers until all ingredients are in the tart.

Put the spring-form pan on a baking sheet and bake, until the squash can be pierced easily with a knife, about 1 hour and 40 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes. (If the crust gets too dark, cover loosely with foil.)

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, crushed red pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons honey in a microwave-safe bowl large enough to contain it (the honey may boil over in the microwave). Microwave for 30 seconds to heat up the honey and infuse the chile flavor. Reserve.

Drizzle the tart all over with the chile-infused honey and serve immediately.

For the rice crust:

1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked rice, cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg white

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F. Make the crust: In a large bowl, mix the rice, salt, pepper, and cheese to combine. Add the egg white and mix well to combine (the mixture should hold together when you squeeze it in your hands).
  2. Press the rice evenly into the pie plate/spring-form pan. It can be a very thin layer for this particular tart (no liquid).
  3.  Par-bake to “set” the crust, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.



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