Eat Well: Galettes on the Go

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
In my last post on tomatoes, a reader commented that she uses her home-grown tomatoes to make galettes. (Thank you, Joanne!)  What is really weird is that the night before she commented, I had been reading one of my cookbooks, had come across a galette recipe and had book-marked it to try.  I used to make tarts all of the time but have gotten out of the habit, and the idea that you can make a tart without worrying about a pan or pre-baking it with beans to hold the dough down really appealed to me.  So, when I saw the comment by Joanne on my post, I realized it was a sign for me to learn all there is to know about galettes.

In France, a galette is often street food—a buckwheat crepe filled with a savory or sweet filling, served from the window of a creperie.  It is the French version of  ‘fast food’ and there is nothing more delicious. But a galette can also be a rustic free-form tart.  Instead of baked in a traditional tart pan, the dough is rolled out thinly, layered with a sweet or savory filling leaving a couple of inches around the perimeter of the dough.  The dough is then folded over and the whole thing is baked.  There are endless recipes for galette dough and fillings, but you can really have fun experimenting with ingredients and come up with your own favorites, much like putting together toppings for pizza.  I can’t think of a better or more forgiving food type for creative culinary expression.  And making galettes is a great way to use up leftovers or vegetable odds and ends.

I used David Lebovitz’ savory galette dough recipe that Joanne linked to but I made my own filling with ingredients I had in the house since we are going out of town on Thursday and I am trying to use up what we have in the refrigerator.  Rebecca and her kids were down for a few days, so Fable and Archer were on hand to roll out the dough and arrange the filling. The results were so delicious that we made it two nights in a row. (YES!!  More ways to use my abundance of tomatoes!!) And now I can’t wait to experiment with different fillings, both savory and sweet.  I substituted gluten-free flour mix (Pamela’s Artisan flour) for the flour and it worked great.

Tomato Cheese Galette

5 oz. (1-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour)
1-1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) fine yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. sugar
1-1/4 tsp. salt (I used scant 1 tsp.)
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 oz. (1/4 cup) ice water

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Cut in the chilled butter using a stand mixer, a food processor, or a pastry blender until it's evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces. 
Add the olive oil and ice water and mix until the dough begins to come together. Gather the dough with your hands and shape it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For the filling:
2-3 heirloom tomatoes
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 T chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
more whole basil leaves
3 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Slice tomatoes and lay slices on two layers of paper towels to drain. 
Roll dough to a 10-inch circle on parchment paper (flour the rolling pin so dough doesn’t stick).
Mix together cheeses, garlic, chopped basil, and pepper flakes.
Spread the mixture on the dough, leaving about a 2 ½ inch border.
Place drained tomato slices on top of cheese mixture. (You can overlap them them if you want—Fable preferred them separated, but the second night I layered them and both ways were delicious.)
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Sprinkle tomatoes with Parmesan cheese.  Fold edges over the dough, pleating as you fold.
(Don’t worry if it looks kind of messy….It doesn’t matter!) Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (without sides). Bake on middle rack in your oven for 40-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle hot galette with fresh whole basil leaves.  Let cool slightly and drizzle with a little olive oil.  
(Make a face, close your eyes and eat?)