Small Time Cooks – April 26, 2005

Maria and I were exploring with country-style cooking. Maria wanted to combine vegetarian ideas with classic recipes, and our vegetable galette was a good way to start. We put our favorite vegetables inside and out, and served the whole thing in a family-style platter.

Galette/Tart Dough

1 package active dry yeast

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 cup warm water

1 egg

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups flour, plus more as needed

This is a standard recipe, one I found in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It’s a great book, filled with lots of inventive ideas and standard fare. A galette is just a free-form pie or tart, made without a pan.

Combine the yeast, sugar, and water in a large bowl, and let set for 10 minutes. The mixture should become bubbly. Stir in the egg, salt, and olive oil. Incorporate the flour about 1/3 cup at a time until the mixture is too thick to be stirred. Place on a clean and floured surface and knead, mixing in flour until the dough is slightly sticky and mostly holds together. Drip a little olive oil in a bowl and roll the dough ball around, covering the surface. Let sit covered in the bowl for about 45 minutes.

Vegetable Galette

10 crimini mushrooms

2 Tablespoons diced oyster mushrooms

1 red bell pepper

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary

2 teaspoons cornstarch

dashes of salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons corn meal

pecorino or goat cheese

3 cups green beans

1 shallot

olive oil

This recipe pairs richer vegetables (like mushrooms and peppers) inside the galette with fresher ones (like green beans) outside for a nice harmony. Use asparagus or grilled artichoke to increase the depth of the meal.

Slice the mushrooms and bell pepper into relatively small pieces. Heat the oven to 500 degrees and put the mushrooms and bell pepper in for about eight minutes. Meanwhile, take the risen dough out of the bowl and turn out onto a floured surface. Press out, without kneading, into a large, thin circle (about 16 inches across). Use a rolling pin if you have one. The circle should be thinner the farther out you go, but try not to tear the dough, especially in the middle.

Pat in some flour if the dough is still sticky, and rub half the corn meal in the middle eight inches of the circle. Flip and do the same to the other side. Mix the mushrooms, bell pepper, rosemary, and half of the thyme together in the middle of the circle. Toss in some salt, pepper, and the cornstarch, and mix together to distribute the cornstarch evenly. The cornstarch will thicken and prevent juices from the vegetables from running out.

Spread the vegetable mixture out over about eight inches and fold the extra dough over the vegetables. It is okay if it doesn’t cover them all the way. Bring the oven down to 350 and toss in the galette for about 20 minutes. During the last five minutes, grate some cheese over the galette. If you have a silicon baking mat, use it under the galette to prevent burning; otherwise, just lightly grease your baking sheet first.

Meanwhile, mix together the green beans, salt and pepper, the rest of the thyme, and the shallot (sliced into thin rings) in a baking pan. Mix about one or two tablespoons of olive oil into the green bean mixture. Roast, covered, at about 450 degrees (in another oven, if you have access, or put it on another rack just below the baking sheet with the galette) for 20 minutes. Serve with the green beans around the galette.