In essence, this is a fancy vegetarian pizza, with wonderful fall flavors.  I love the butternut squash ribbons that add color, flavor and texture.  The layers of vegetables are so good and I finish the tart with a drizzle of honey, toasted walnuts and a handful of fresh arugula that is so perfect with the savory roasted veggies.  Don’t be intimidated by the crust.  I DO use a food processor which truly does all the work for you and renders a delicious crust.  For the butternut squash ribbons, you can use a simple vegetable peeler or a mandolin if that is easier.  The nice thing about this dish is that it is a rustic tart and does not have to be perfect.  The imperfection makes it all the more appealing.  It would be perfect for a light dinner with a nice salad and chilled glass of wine.


for crust:

  • 1/4 cup finely ground walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated high quality parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups flour (I love Bob’s Red Mill Pastry flour)
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tablespoon iced vodka
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

for filling:

  • 7 medium shallots, shaved very thinly
  • 30 or so butternut squash ribbons (about 8 inches long,1/2 inch thick and paper thin)
  • 2 cups loosely packed arugula
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup high quality grated parmesan
  • 1 pint favorite mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bunch sage, chopped
  • shaved parmesan for serving
  • honey for drizzling
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts for garnish

egg wash:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons cream


for crust:  In a food processor, grind walnuts until fine.  Switch to pastry blade and add flour, parmesan, and salt.  Pulse to combine.  Add diced butter and continue to pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal and butter is distributed in small chunks.  Add Vodka and water a tablespoon at a time and allow motor to run until the dough begins to gather into a ball.  flatten dough into a disk and wrap in plastic.  Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes wile you prepare filling.

for filling:  In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat.  Add shaved shallots and all of chopped sage less a tablespoon (reserve for later).  Sauté for about 15 minutes, season lightly with salt and pepper, stirring frequently so shallots caramelize slowly and turn a bit golden.  Set aside in a bowl.  In the same skillet, heat an additional tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter and add mushrooms.  Sauté until mushrooms begin to release their juices (about 5 minutes), season to taste and add white wine to skillet until mushrooms are tender, an additional 5 minutes.  Set aside.  Combine ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/4 cup grated parm in a small bowl and stir well.

assemble and bake tart: Preheat oven to 400.  Sprinkle a small amount of flour over a large piece of parchment paper (large enough to accommodate a 13 inch crust).  Place dough on parchment, and roll your dough out into a 12-13 inch circle.  Spread the shallot-sage mixture evenly on dough, leaving a 1 1/2 -2 inch border.  Next spread ricotta mixture over the shallots, followed by mushrooms.  Take butternut squash ribbons and lay them on top of mushrooms and remaining tablespoon of sage.  Fold edges of crust around filling.  whisk the egg and yolk together and brush along the edges of the crust.  Drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil over butternut squash.  Carefully transfer tart and  parchment onto a baking sheet.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for about 15 minutes.  Remove from fridge and transfer to oven.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden and squash on top is beginning to turn golden.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for a 5 minutes.  Top with arugula, toasted walnuts and shaved parmesan.  Drizzle honey on tart just before serving.  Slice and enjoy!!!