Turnovers – all the flavors of fall wrapped in pastry
Well, not actually all the flavors of fall. There are no apples or halloween candy in this dish. But headlines don’t need to be 100% factually accurate (at least that’s what I’ve learned from years of reading the news) so yeah fall turnovers. Sometimes, my dishes aren’t actually inspired by a holiday or a story. I searched my trusty Greens cookbook, saw butternut squash turnovers and was like “sold!” Although I did make this recipe while dancing around my kitchen listening to Beyonce (yes, even I listen to that sometimes).
Part 1: Pastry dough. You kind of want to make this earlier than later, because then the butter will get all streaky and incorporated into the dough better. Pastry crust is flour, salt, butter, and water, in varying amounts. Usually I go for a rough 3:1 rule. Three times as much flour and butter. Pinch of salt. Cut flour into flour/salt mix. You can use a fork, but a pastry cutter is way easier. Add water slowly until the dough comes together. But this is a rough approximation, and if you are a pastry dough novice – find a solid recipe you trust and try that first. There are a million different ways of making pastry crust, but the two most important tips are: add enough butter so that the dough can almost stick together without the addition of water. The other is add water a little bit at a time so that you add only just enough to combine. Too much water ruins dough. Be careful with water! Set aside till the filling is done.
Part 2: The Filling. The original recipe was just called for butternut squash and seasonings, but I had some wilting kale that was in the “use it or dump it” phase of existence. So I used it. Chop the butternut squash into chunks, coat with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast at 400 til tender. While the squash is roasting, saute diced (as in smaller than chopped) onions and garlic in olive oil. Add kale and saute for a while. Add a bit of wine and some dried thyme and continue cooking until most of the liquid has cooked off and the kale is done. Now, the recipe called for white wine, but I already had a bottle of red open, so I used that instead – it turned the onions and garlic into a pretty pink color! Add the roasted squash and mix it all together.
Part 3: Assemble and Bake. Divide your dough into balls, and roll them out into rough circles. My old roommate accidentally acquired my rolling pin and never gave it back. Two years later I still haven’t bought a new one. But you can use a wine bottle instead if you don’t have a rolling pin. Put some filling on one side, and seal them. If the turnover won’t close, add a little bit of water to the edges to help. Place finished turnovers (they should be shaped like a half moon) and bake at 400 until the dough is light brown.
Part 4: Eat! Enjoy with a glass of that wine you just cooked with, or really whatever. The nice thing is that these are a fairly completely meal all by themselves, so you don’t really need too much else. Makes it a great lunch to pack for work as a result. Also – the pastry crust will be less flaky if you reheat it in a microwave. One of my coworkers swears by his toaster oven. I don’t have the counter-space to buy one, so I just reheat in the microwave anyways.