Friday, August 5, 2016

Savory Kale and Corn Galette

Last Year's Post:  Spanish Shrimp
Two Years Ago:   Goat Cheese and Chorizo Rolls

A galette is just a fancy term for a free-form (or rustic) tart that's easier to make and prettier than a pie.  The most common type is a sweet galette (think plums, apples, etc.) for dessert but I'm not all that big on sweets (gasp) so my thoughts tend to go in the savory direction for a light vegetarian entree, especially this time of the year with all that beautiful produce in the markets.

In its savory version, a galette is lighter than a quiche because it doesn't contain the milk-and-egg custard; its all about the veggies.  It makes an elegant and impressive vegetarian dinner served with a big crisp green salad and a nice bottle of wine.  I made all manner of changes to the original recipe, which is one of the advantages of a galette - use what you have on hand or is fresh at the market.  I found beautiful kale, thyme and corn at the market, plus I had sun-dried tomatoes and Manchego cheese on hand, so that's what I used.

You could also use zucchini or other vegetables, other fresh herbs, and other cheeses equally well.  The one substitution I wouldn't recommend is fresh tomatoes, especially beefsteak tomatoes, because they're watery and can easily make your galette soggy.  If you really want to use fresh tomatoes, either slice and salt them for 30 minutes or so to draw out some moisture, or roast them which gets rid of most of the moisture and also intensifies the flavor.  Or if you really want that fresh tomato flavor, think about putting them in your side salad instead.

The result was amazingly delicious - the sweet corn and sun-dried tomatoes contrasted beautifully with the earthy kale, and the Manchego cheese added richness.  But the star of the show was the crust.  Normally, you want a pie crust to be tender and flaky for sweet foods, but this particular crust is light and crisp - almost a cross between a pie crust and a cracker.  It's because there's less butter (fat) than in a normal pie crust, which is another bonus.  It was very easy to work with and the whole project was fun, although you should know it took about 2 hours for prep work, cooking the filling, chilling the dough, rolling the dough, assembling the galette and baking it - maybe not a work-night project unless you do some of the prep in advance.  You can make the galette a few hours in advance if you're having company because it's equally good warm or at room temperature, but I wouldn't make it the day before - the crust loses some crispness over time.  I added some sesame seeds to the edge of the crust for a little extra texture and taste, but you could also use coarse black pepper, or sea salt, or a mix of seeds equally well.

I can't emphasize enough how good this was, and I really hope you'll try it.

print recipe
Savory Kale and Corn Galette
Serves 4; to serve more, double the recipe and make two galettes

For the dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/8 cup cold water

For the filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced or grated
1 bunch Tuscan kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1 ear of corn, shucked (or 1 ½ cups frozen corn)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
3 oz crumbled feta or goat cheese, or 3 oz small cubes of any firm white cheese such as Monterey Jack
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter and salt a few times until crumbly.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a fork.  Put half the egg in a slightly larger bowl (reserving the remainder for brushing) and add the ice water.  Whisk again to combine.

Add the egg and water to the food processor and pulse until the dough comes together more or less.  Turn out on a floured surface and bring together with your hands to form a ball.  Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

While the dough chills, make the filling.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.   Add oil and onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring.  Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute until fragrant.  Add kale and corn and cook until the kale is softened and wilted, 3-4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool for 20 minutes or so.  When cool, stir in the thyme, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375d. 

On a floured surface, roll the dough to a circle approximately 11” in diameter.  Gently fold into quarters and place on the parchment paper, then unfold.  Place the filling mixture in the center of the dough, then spread evenly leaving  1 ½ “ of dough uncovered around the outer edge.  Fold the edges over the filling and brush the edges with the remaining beaten egg.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds, optional.

Bake for about 35 minutes until the crust is golden.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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