A Galette for the Vernal Equinox
March 19, 2013 § 1 Comment
More snow came down last night, and I think it is safe to say we are both feeling just about done with it all. Done with bare trees and slick roads, done with plows and cold hands. While it is nice to know the Equinox is on the horizon, the reality is that spring and all the warmth it brings with it has not quite gotten the hint. Give us something green please. Let us see the little shoots push through the earth. Let us have even just a whisper of the heat to come. I want to open a window so intensely…
The local farmer’s market is still months away, so I have the grocery conglomerates to deal with in the meantime. I’ve made my peace with the fact that if you want leeks or other wispy green onions this time of year, you’re going to have to buy ones that traveled all the way from Mexico. I select the brightest non-wilted gems the shelf has to offer and console myself with a countdown to the first Sunday in June – when the market tents will go up hovering over baskets of bundled emerald stalks. I do enjoy a good vegetable dish from time to time and I like living within a few miles of where my food is grown, but I’m not what some people would call crunchy by any shade of the imagination. What I am really partial to is a meal I can cook in one pan on a busy weeknight that packs a lot of color and vitamins. In the summer, between the market and our own garden, we’ll have the greens right outside our door –literally.
If you’re like me (a planner on good days), you can make the galette dough on the weekend and have it ready to use for a weeknight. The dough recipe is interchangeable for sweet or savory dishes, but what I really like about it is the cornmeal, which helps keep the filling juices inside the galette and off the parchment paper. I used it to make a berry galette last year, so I knew the results this time would be just as promising.
The greens can truly be a bouquet of anything you can find or like to use. We love leeks for many reasons so that was a must-have for us. The leafy greens were more or less based on what the sad little store had that week – kale and spinach leaves. I would have liked to try rainbow chard or dandelion leaves, but there were none to be had. Pick a nice bunch; you want a big handful of greens because they do cook down a lot in the pan.
It seems a bit silly to share a recipe that isn’t really even a recipe at all. There isn’t much to it besides a glug of oil and some garlic tossed with edible flowering plants! The filling will change a hundred times I’m sure as the months go by. I’m thinking tomato slices and basil in August or even different colored squash. Maybe by then we’ll be eating outside in the yard with the crickets and a slow-setting sun. I’ll take whatever treasures Jim pulls from the ground and brings inside. I’ll wash their dirt down the sink and pull a meal out of my hat. Right there in the kitchen – where the window will be wide open.
For the dough:
Recipe from Baking with Julia
3 Tbs sour cream
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
7 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Stir the sour cream into the ice water until smooth. Set aside.
Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the butter pieces and continue pulsing until you see pea-sized pieces in the mixture.
Add the sour cream/water mixture slowly while the machine runs, just until the dough starts to come together.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap with cellophane and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
When ready to use, roll the dough out onto a floured board until it is very thin but still workable. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper before filling.
For the filling:
A couple Tbs of olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 leeks, trimmed and cleaned, sliced thinly
Leafy greens – (such as kale, chard, spinach, etc) – a large bunch or two of different kinds, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and add the leeks, cooking them on medium until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the leafy greens, a handful at a time, until they begin to wilt. Once they’ve all been added to the pan, continue to cook over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes more, just until all the greens are combined, softened, and fragrant.
Spread the mixture on top of the dough, leaving about an inch near the border. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling into pleats.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until the crust is golden. Allow to set for a few minutes before slicing. We got about 4 large slices out of this galette.