We wanted simple. Just a simple dinner. A simple dinner for which we could use our Swiss chard. So simple that we wouldn’t even need to make up a side. After hemming and hawing, we decided on a simple Chard, Walnut, and Gouda Galette. Do we hear someone in the back saying, “A galette? Simple, yeah right?”
Yeah, right, indeed; it is simple. We’ll scratch one up to show you just how simple. You just need to follow along, and, before you know it, you’ll have your own galette ready for dinner. We didn’t base this recipe on anything, except that we wanted a galette with chard, nuts, and cheese.
Makes 4 servings.
If possible, Swiss chard should be organic, as greens like this are on the dirty dozen list (heavily contaminated with pesticides). The cheese doesn’t have to be Gouda, of course; we were going to use Cheddar, but changed our minds at the last minute. Gouda just sounds more European. Don’t have walnuts? Use another kind of nut. Pecans, perhaps. Finally, we always suggest that you use the Pâte Brisée recipe. It’s probably the best and easiest crust recipe we’ve found.
Procedure in detail:
Plump raisins. If you’re using raisins in cooking, it’s always nice to plump them up a bit. Beats biting into a tough, dried raisin. Besides, it’s easy. Place the raisins in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain.
Preheat oven to 350°F. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven to heat, and bake the galette on that. If not, just get out a baking sheet.
Cook chard. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the chard and cook until wilted and tender, and most of the moisture has evaporated.
Add raisins and season. Stir the raisins into the chard, add salt and pepper as needed, then remove from heat while you roll out the crust.
Roll crust. Place the Pâte Brisée dough between two pieces of baking parchment and roll out to a rough circle about 10-11 inches in diameter. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because galettes are traditionally free-form. Remove the top piece of parchment (we’ll bake it on just the bottom piece of parchment).
Layer chard. You could mix all the filling items together if you wanted, but we wanted to make layers, so we spooned the chard into the middle of the crust, leaving a 2-inch wide band around the edges free of chard. We’ll fold up this edge later.
Add nutmeg. We think that nutmeg tastes great with chard, so we took out our microplane and a piece of nutmeg and gave the chard filling a dusting. Since nutmeg has such a pervasive taste, tread lightly on the nutmeg.
Layer the rest. Place the nuts on the chard, followed by the cheese. We found that by putting the cheese on top the nuts, the walnuts will take on a nice crunch as if they were slightly deep-fried. Yum.
Fold edges. Fold up the edges of the crust around the filling. Press the dough together in a few places to keep it from unfolding while it bakes. You don’t need to have the crust cover everything. In fact, you want an open spot, so steam can escape and the cheese can brown.
Bake. If you have a baking stone hot in the oven, slide the galette, parchment paper and all, right into the middle. Otherwise, transfer it to a baking sheet. Either way, bake until the crust and cheese are golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Serve immediately. Slice into wedges and enjoy.
We ate the whole thing. Yes, every last bite. Partly because we didn’t make a side to go along with it, but mainly because galettes are so tasty, and this one was no exception. The layer of walnuts became quite crispy underneath the cheese, almost as if they had been fried for a few minutes, adding an interesting texture. The cheese, well, we were a bit disappointed, because we had hoped that the Gouda would melt better than it did, and flow into the filling. Instead, it stayed on top and became somewhat crisp. Good, but not what we were expecting. Next time, we’d choose a different type of cheese. With that in mind, four stars.