I’m back with another tomato recipe. Tried to warn you that I was going to over-do the tomatoes for a while. But, I know not everyone shares my love of tomatoes so I’ll give it a rest tomorrow.
And really, today’s focus isn’t on the tomato, it’s on a rustic tart called a galette. I didn’t know what they were until reading through my Baking with Julia book and saw a fairly simple recipe with tomatoes (and cheese and basil) and gave it a try. The open face is beautiful with the ruffly dough and the tasty filling. The dough doesn’t get sogged out either, which Julia says is attributed to the cornmeal. It will stay crisp enough to be served warm or at room temperature. Good for transporting or serving at a party where people graze all night. It’s also good for a family supper outside, soaking up the last bits of August.
Cheese & Tomato Galette
recipe from Baking with Julia
1/2 recipe Galette Dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (finely shredded) or torn
2 to 3 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Preheat the oven to 400° and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into an 11-inch circle that’s about 1/8 inch thick. The dough is quite soft so make sure to lift it now and then and toss some flour under it and on the top to prevent it from sticking everywhere. When you’ve accomplished the above dimensions, move it to your prepared pan. The best and easiest way to move this dough is to roll it up around your rolling pin and then unroll it onto the prepared baking sheet.
In a bowl, toss the cheeses and basil together and then sprinkle it over the rolled out dough, leaving a 2-3 inch border. On top of the cheese, place the tomatoes in concentric circles, again leaving the couple inch border. Fold the uncovered border dough up over the filling, allowing the dough to naturally pleat as you work your way around the galette.
Bake the galette for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp and the cheese is bubbly. When it’s done, allow the galette rest on the sheet for 10 minutes. Cut apart with a knife or pizza wheel and serve. Julia says: Best served warm or at room temperature.
makes enough for two 8-inch galettes
3 Tbsp sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk)
1/3 cup (approx.) ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
7 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 6-8 pieces
This dough can be quickly made either by hand or in a food processor. I don’t have a food processor (yet) and it is still very simple to throw together.
Stir the sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water together in a small bowl and set aside. Then, in a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt and stir with a fork to mix. Drop in the butter chunks and toss them a round a bit to coat them with the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour, working for butter pieces that range in size from bread crumbs to small peas. Julia says: The smaller pieces will make the dough tender, the larger ones will make it flaky.
Add the cold water/sour cream mixture into the dough 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork after each addition to evenly distribute the liquid. When all the mixture has been added, the dough should be gooey enough to stick together when it’s pressed; if it’s not, add in more cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Use your hands to gather the dough together. Julia says: You’ll have a soft, malleable dough, the kind you might want to overwork. Don’t do it.
When you’ve gathered it together into a cohesive ball, divide it in half. Press each half of dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.
In a Food Processor:
Stir the sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water together in a small bowl; set aside. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in the work of a processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse to combine. Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and pulse 8 to 10 times or until the mixture is speckled with pieces of butter that vary in size from bread crumbs to peas. With the machine running, add the sour cream mixture and process just until the dough forms soft, moist curds.
Remove the dough from the processor, divide it in half, and press each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.
The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two or wrapped up tight and frozen for a month. To use the frozen dough, thaw it still wrapped in the fridge.
If you want to go the freezer route, it’s most convenient to roll the dough into rounds, placing parchment between each later and freeze them wrapped in plastic. Then, you’ll only need about 20 minutes to defrost a round of dough at room temperature before filling it, folding over the edges and baking it into its golden, bubbly deliciousness.