The Sophisticated Stoner's: Leeky Delicata Squash Tart
Updated: Oct 24
Something so good and simple that tastes like you've done more than you did. My favorite type of meal.
I grew up only eating yellow onions. I don't know why, but they were the only ones my mother used in all of the dishes she cooked in our midwestern dinners. At home now, some 30 plus years later, I use all of the onion family and are partial to leeks and scallions. I always thought of leeks as being these fancy foods that only rich people ate.
The first time I had leeks was in a pastry similar to what I made for dinner tonight. I was at this restaurant somewhere in the north of France. I'm not from those parts and only found myself there because of the guy I was dating at the time. We weren't actually dating. He was this electrician I met a year earlier when I was working as a phone sex operator in Columbus, Ohio. He lived in the suburbs of Boston and had called the hotline "Columbus College Co-Eds" from about the time I started working there and our friendship continued. After I decided to move to Paris, we still kept in touch and he wrote these long letters and called me at a prearranged time because that was back the the ancient times when we had phone booths and phone cards. It was an odd friendship/relationship. It started off based on a fantasy. He enjoyed role playing that involved traveling to far off places and intricate plots that allowed me to be creative. I'd sit in my partitioned off cubicle in the run down office building that was a maze of moaning women of varying shapes and sizes pretending to be other people.
We eventually revealed ourselves for our true identities. I wasn't the white, 5'8" college student named "Christine." But, a 5'6" college-sort-of-student who was over 250 pounds. J. eventually came to visit me while I was living in Paris working as an au pair. I'm trying to picture his face and all I can see is a beard and hair that needed a really good trim. A lumberjack sort of looking white man. We drove to the North of France in a rented car that barely fit him. I had lost a hundred pounds since we had first started talking to one another. He didn't know this at first. He didn't tell me his fat truth at first until I noticed his stretch marks and he casually mentioned it. We had sex for the first and only time in a cottage that was made from stone and had been on the grounds for centuries. It was like kissing a brother as I attempted to take his 29-year-old virginity and our awkwardness was due in part that he later emailed me that he discovered he liked men mostly. The next morning while we were out at Monoprix picking up groceries, embers from our constant fire had somehow caught the cottage on fire. We returned to see the fire brigade in their shiny silver helmets and leather coats. They were all a level of yum that I wasn't expecting. I freaked and thought I'd surely end up in a French jail, but the host gave us some gross pear wine and told us he had insurance and it wasn't a problem.
On the way back to Paris, we pulled over to this little boulangarie (pastry shop) and I gave in to all of the months and months of not eating bread and carbs. I bought a bag of pastries that rained down flakes on my sweater and into the bucket seats of the car. My favorite pasties were the ones with leeks and vegetables. We ended our trip eating two bags of pastries as we made our way back to Paris.
I often wonder what became of J. I wonder if he's alive or if he's been electrocuted. I wonder if he came out to his Catholic family. What a time.
We once role played that we were stealing the Mona Lisa and sex someone happened. I should have known he was a little gay. Too creative.
The Sophisticated Stoner's: Leeky Delicate Squash Tart
Ingredients (brie is pictured, but I didn't use)
1 pastry puff, I actually put it in the fridge to thaw out overnight
1 container of cut delicata squash, roast in the over with 1 tbsp of olive oil & salt & Peppa (never gets old)
1 leek, thinly sliced
1/3 cup ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tbsps butter
1/2 olive oil
Everything But The Leftovers Seasoning & Umami Seasoning
Coat your squash in 1 tbsp of olive oil, S&P in a bowl. Roast your squash in a preheated oven at 425. Watch and flip from time to time. About 35-40 minutes.
Thinly slice 1 leek and cook in a tablespoon of butter and two dashes of the seasoning. Cook until soft and flavorful. Allow to cool.
In the bowl that you used to coat the squash, combine the ricotta, a 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, and S&P.
Remove cooked squash from the oven and cut into bite sized chunks so that when you bite a piece off of the pastry you don't have this long ass piece in your mouth. Annoying!
Lower the heat of your over to about 350-360 (I have a weird oven that has numbers that are funky)
I used a half sheet pan and just rolled out the puff pastry. Spread with the ricotta mix, layer of leeks, and then top with the chunks of the squash. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
Bake until the edges turn brown.
Serve with some arugula (I tear it up a bit before I place it on top. Bite sized.) and drizzle with balsamic.
This is a winner dinner for sure. It feels fancy, but isn't really that difficult at all. I left the other half for my daughter to have for her lunch. The old me would have gobbled it all down. This will surely be on the menu for my upcoming party. I think I need to get a few more boxes of the puff pastry. I've got some ideas for it.
NYC last week taken with this older camera in my pocket.