Spring has finally sprung in the good old C of NY and I have so many cravings for fresh green things that I am worried I have turned into a rabbit without noticing. Luckily enough for me, the farmer’s market has been kind in supplying crunchy veggies, and I am slowly eating my way through salad greens I didn’t know existed until this season. My inner bunny has been happy. Today, however, is not the day for typical bunny food. Today is for something more sophisticated and slightly heartier– namely, a galette.
What is a galette, you may ask? At the base level, a galette is sort of like a grown-up stuffed-crust pizza. It’s a savory tart in which the crust is folded up around some of the toppings, making a nice little topping pocket around the tart. This, though, is where the similarities between the two end. When I said “stuffed crust” I bet you thought of the greasy, cheesy, pretty-alright-but-not-for-my-beach-bod stuffed crust pizza. This galette, on the other hand, is made with a flaky, whole wheat crust that is stuffed with a mixture of ricotta, veggies, and pecorino romano cheese.
This galette is perfect fresh out of the oven and almost better when reheated in a toaster oven the next day. It’s dainty, it’s elegant, and it tastes great. It even makes me want to take it on picnics and eat it in the fresh spring air on a blanket under a tree. Making the galette is definitely doable during the week, provided you can plan a day in advance and/or have a favorite store-bought crust. Do note that if you make the whole thing from scratch, you’ll need an extra couple of hours for the dough to chill, or you can make it a day ahead and bake everything the next evening. It will please both your veggie lovers and your veggie skeptics, and is hearty enough to be several meals on its own. And, best of all, it’ll let you use some of those lovely spring greens that are popping up everywhere. Who said bunny food couldn’t be awesome?
Swiss Chard and New Potato Galette
Adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe.
Whole Wheat Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
I used a Kitchenaid mixer for this dough, but the Bon Appetit link above includes directions for a food processor and all of this can certainly be done by hand.
Combine together flours and salt. Add the butter and mix until the ingredients resemble a coarse breadcrumbs with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.
Drizzle in the apple cider vinegar and ice water. Mix together, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful if needed, until the dough comes together. Lightly knead the dough until no dry spots remain. The original recipe says not to overwork it, but I found that by babying the dough I let it bully me into leaving it too dry, which made it crack when rolling out and cooking. The dough should not be sticky, but trust your instincts– if it feels too dry, it probably is too dry.
Pat the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at for at least two hours and up to two days.
1 cup ricotta
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
About 5 new potatoes, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, preferably red, chopped (stems separated and chopped)
1 large egg, beaten
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
Flour (for rolling surface)
Corn meal (optional)
Season the ricotta with pepper and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When heated, add potato slices. Work in batches as necessary– do not overlap. Brown the slices on both sides, then transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel to catch the excess oil.
Once all the potatoes have been cooked, heat 1 tbsp oil in the same skillet over medium heat with hot pepper flakes. When oil is hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the chard in batches, letting the leaves cook down and incorporating more fresh leaves when there is room in the pan. When wilted, set aside. Add the chopped stems to the same pan and saute until soft.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14-inch round. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. If your dough is too dry like mine was, it will crack during this process– be prepared for some surgery!
Prepare your baking sheet. Bon Appetit includes instructions for doing this with parchment paper, but I like to use cornmeal when baking breads– it crunches nicely on the bottom of the finished product. To prepare my baking sheet, I spray it with a bit of oil and then sprinkle cornmeal over it.
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Spread the ricotta over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Add the chard leaves and stems, and then the potatoes on top of the chard. Top everything with freshly grated pecorino romano cheese.
Bring the edges of the dough up and over the filling, folding and overlapping as needed to create a stuffed dough border. Brush the dough with egg. If you don’t have a brush handy, your fingers will work just as well.
Bake the galette, rotating halfway through, until the crust is golden brown and cooked through. This should take about 35-40 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and serve.