We look through cookbooks quite a lot. Sometimes, we find recipes that we want to try; other times, we’re just looking for new ideas, or perhaps a new way of cooking up a dish. We can heartily recommend that, if you’re interested in cooking, you should start picking up a cookbook or two from your local library and just browse. You’re sure to come away with at least one or two new ideas.
Today’s post is really about wanting to bake a galette, for no other reason than it looks and sounds tasty. Naturally, we picked up the idea of a galette from a whole variety of cookbooks — everyone has his or her own galette recipe these days, but the flavor combination in the filling is pure scratchin’ central brainpower — after all, we should have one, too.
We’ve seen galettes show up in quite a number of cookbooks, and they seem perfectly suited to, well, virtually anything. We’ve seen savory galettes, sweet galettes, and galettes that are a mixture of both. Basically a rustic, free-form tart that you can fill with whatever you happen to have available, a galette seems as if it could be a life saver when you don’t know what else to make. Provided, of course, you can make a crust in time.
Makes 4 servings.
Use the basic idea of a galette as a palette for what you have on hand, but, remember that you want to avoid a lot of liquid. That’s why we removed the tomato seeds and the liquid around them, to minimize the liquid. That’s why we fried up thin slices of eggplant, to remove liquid. Keep this in mind, and you could add anything you can think of: mushrooms, corn, carrots, even thinly-sliced potatoes would be nice. Just don’t add too much of the ingredients, either. You want to be able to fold up the crust around those ingredients, so watch the amounts, but feel free to use a lot of herbs for flavor. We do recommend the Pâte Brisée; it’s easy, and it worked perfectly for this recipe.
Of course, we all know that Parmesan cheese does not come from a green, shakable cylinder.
Procedure in detail:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut a piece of parchment to fit a baking sheet, or use a silicone mat.
Drain tomatoes. Quarter the tomatoes, and scrape out the seeds and surrounding liquid. Place quarters in a colander to drain a bit more. Discard the seeds.
Cook onion. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender and soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add eggplant. We sliced the eggplant thinly, about 1/8-inch thick, so that it would cook rapidly and wouldn’t hold much liquid. Once you peel and slice the eggplant, add it to the onions and cook for about 8 minutes, so the eggplant is tender and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Roll out dough. Place the dough on the baking mat or parchment sheet. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top and roll out into a rough oval. Don’t worry about the exact shape or even the thickness, as galettes are rustic tarts. Just go with the flow and make the dough about 1/8-inch thick. Place the parchment/baking mat and dough on your baking sheet.
Layer on eggplant. Spread the eggplant mixture over the dough, leaving about a 2-inch border. The border is there so we can fold the edges up and over some of the filling before putting it in the oven, which will help keep the filling from leaking out.
Layer on tomatoes. Place the tomato quarters evenly across the eggplant, pressing them in place. We placed the cut side up to catch the herbs and cheese.
Add herbs. Sprinkle the rosemary over the top, then the thyme, and then the salt. Try to spread each fairly evenly across the filling, but, remember, this will be a rustic tart. It’ll be okay if there’s a little pocket of extra herbs in some spots.
Layer on cheese. Now, we need some cheese to bind it all together, so sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the galette, trying to cover most of the filling.
Fold in border. Working your way around the oval, fold that 2-inch border up and over a bit of filling. You’re not trying to enclose the filling, just providing a barrier so the filling doesn’t leak out. Press together the crust where it wrinkles and overlaps. Again, no need to worry too much about neatness. Think rustic.
Bake. Slide into the oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and crisp, the cheese is bubbled and browned, and your whole house smells good enough to eat.
Garnish. Remove from the oven, and, if desired, garnish with fresh basil and additional Parmesan cheese. We’ve no idea why someone wouldn’t desire to add basil and cheese, but there may be one person out there who doesn’t like more cheese. Maybe.
Slice and serve. We just cut this into quarters and dished a quarter right up to eat in front of the DVD player (we were watching NCIS). Then, at the part of the show where the commercial would be, we paused it, went back and served up the remaining quarters.
For our first galette, this was great! We ended up with two issues that we believe we corrected in the instructions: we’d overcooked the garlic, leaving just a hint of bitterness, and we’d added just a bit too much salt. Again, we’ve adjusted the ingredients list and the instructions, so your galette should turn out perfectly (feel free to invite us over so we can compare); ours gets only four stars because of these deficiencies. But, we’re definitely going to keep making more of these rustic tarts. We can already visualize making individual-sized galettes filled with blueberries, a touch of vanilla sugar and topped with cream, or loaded with mushrooms, savory herbs, and Gruyère. The possibilities of tastiness are endless!