Spinach, balsamic onion, and goat cheese galette

April 1, 2010 § 4 Comments

It’s plausible (actually, make that highly probable) that I have talked your ear off about galettes before, in the guise of rustic tarts that is.  But, I simply have to do it again because I’m practically giddy with how great they are!  I mean look at them!  They look lovely – fancy even!  They taste amazing, with unbeatably flaky, buttery crusts and complex, savory fillings.  And what are they doing?  They’re using up my leftovers!!  At the moment I’m kind of feeling like this is the cleverest way ever to use up leftovers, so please forgive me if I’m practically crowing, er, and using excessive quantities of exclamation points. (!!)

Also, I used a new galette dough recipe (I felt adventurous, otherwise I just make pie crust) that I made up by looking at several recipes specifically for galettes.  I noticed that several recipes called for sour cream and lemon juice.  I didn’t have either of those, but I had Greek yogurt, which is similar in texture and function (tangy, cultured dairy), and I had rice vinegar, which provides acid like lemon juice.  I am never going back!!!  Flaky beyond belief people!  It was almost more like having a croissant for a crust, which is a very, very good thing.

Instead of making one large galette, I decided to divide the recipe up into 3 smaller galettes because I had three different Tupperwares of leftover vegetables to use: sautéed cabbage, sautéed spinach, and roasted butternut squash.  I feel like vegetable galettes (and pretty much everything else) are generally improved by including caramelized onions, so I sliced up two, wiped my watering eyes, and allowed them to cook slowly in olive oil until wonderfully brown and sticky.  I also decided, taking a cue from pizza Bianca (I think.  I may just have an idea of what pizza Bianca is in my mind that corresponds to what I want it to be), and made a creamy cheese sauce to spread on the bottom of the galettes.  This simply involved making a roux, stirring in some milk, letting it simmer to thicken, and then melting in a bunch of cheese, in this case cream cheese because I had some that I wanted to use up.  It also would have worked quite nicely – and been simpler – to just spread the galettes with ricotta, but I was fresh out!  I’ve talked about a butternut squash, onion, and goat cheese galette before, so I won’t go into detail there.  For the cabbage galette, I decided to stir in a little lemon zest and parmesan cheese, and then sprinkle it, once out of the oven with toasted hazelnuts, to complement the nuttiness of the cooked cabbage.  For the spinach galette, I was inspired by a pizza that a friend had made for me out of a cookbook that I’m coveting (Sunday Suppers with Lucques) and that I was blown away by.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so I copied the idea of it as best I could remember, and piled the galette with garlicky sautéed spinach with vinegar, raisins, and caramelized onions to which I had added a big splash of balsamic vinegar to cook down with in the last 10 minutes of cooking.  I topped it with goat cheese.  If I’d been having a best galette contest, the spinach galette would have won, hands down.  Though the cabbage and the butternut were really good, the spinach one was awesome! It’s a somewhat unexpected combination, I think, but boy it works.

Personally, I recommend you just make up a galette or two, creatively using the leftovers you have.  However, I also very much would not wish you to be deprived of better instructions for the spinach one I’ve described.  That would just be mean, and I’m not mean…I don’t think (secret evil laugh).  So, here you go:

Galette dough recipe

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • a little sprinkling of sage (optional)
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream, or crème fraiche)
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar, or lemon juice)
  • ¼ cup cold water (preferably ice cold, even)
  1. Mix together the flour and salt and sage, if using, in a mixing bowl.  Then, rub in the chunks of butter with your fingers to form a coarse meal texture.  Put the bowl in the fridge or freezer for about 10 minutes while you do something productive.  Remove the chilled flour-butter mixture, and stir in the wet ingredients with your fingers until just mixed together, then form into a ball.  Either pat the ball into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap, or for smaller galettes divide it into either 3 or 6 pieces and form these into discs and wrap them. 
  2. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour  (I have been known to make the dough in the morning right before breakfast and then it can sit waiting for me in the fridge until I’m done with work and ready for dinner).  Next, dig out the various things you want to use up for fillings.

Cheese cream sauce

  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 ½ Tbs. flour
  • about 1 cup milk
  • about 1/3 – ½ cup cheese of your preference (I used cream cheese to good effect)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter then stir in the flour to form kind of a pasty ball.   Add in the milk, a bit at a time, stirring vigorously to keep lumps from forming (a whisk helps).  Allow to simmer until thickened to a sauce consistency – mine took 5 minutes or so – then stir in the cheese to melt and add salt and pepper to taste.  Set sauce aside until you assemble the galettes.

Spinach Raisin Balsamic Onion Galette (this quantity is if you want to make 1 large galette.  If you want to make several different galettes, just reduce the amounts accordingly) serves 4-6

  • ¾ – 1 lb baby spinach, wash and coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • a drizzle of vinegar, any sort
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, preferably red, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbs. of balsamic vinegar
  • about ½ cup raisins or currants
  • about 6 oz. of soft goat cheese (chevre, or if you want to splurge, get Humboldt fog, which is amazing)
  1. Heat a Tablespoon or two of olive oil (or butter) in a large frying pan, then add the onion.  Cook over medium for about 5 minutes, then turn heat down and cook on low heat (stirring occasionally) until getting brown and caramelized (about 15 minutes).  Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and add the balsamic vinegar and raisins, stir, and cook for at least another 10 minutes.  Set aside. 
  2. Heat a large splash of olive oil in a frying pan until shimmer, add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for about 5 minutes, until the garlic is golden.  Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, 5-8 minutes, stir in salt.  Set aside. (otherwise, you could just make spinach with raisins, without the nuts, and then leave the raisins out of the caramelized onion).
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.  Take the chilled galette dough out, and either between sheets of waxed paper or on a floured surface (this dough actually rolled out quite easily without sticking to things just using the afore mentioned floured surface and rolling pin), and roll out into a large circle about 12 or 13 inches across.
  4. Place on a baking sheet, then spread on the cream sauce or some ricotta cheese, leaving about an inch around the border.  Spread the spinach on top of the sauced part of the dough (you may not wind up using all of the sauce and spinach), then pile the onions and raisins on top of the spinach.  Finally, crumble the goat cheese all over the lot of it.  Gently fold the uncovered edge of the dough over the filling, making little pleats as you go along to keep it circular.  Bake the galette for about 45 minutes, until the crust is all golden and the cheese is melting.  Serve in small slices as a wonderful appetizer or accompanied by a green salad for a filling supper.

For cabbage filling

Thinly slice and sautee 1/2 a head green cabbage in a couple Tbs. butter, until soft and browned.  Stir in salt to taste and the zest from half a lemon.  Roll out galette dough as with the spinach galette, and spread galette dough with cream sauce or cheese.  Cover sauce with cooked cabbage.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Either add chopped untoasted hazelnuts (I bet pine nuts would also be really good here), or (and this, I discovered works better) separately toast about 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts and set aside.  Bake galette at 375F for about 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with toasted nuts.

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§ 4 Responses to Spinach, balsamic onion, and goat cheese galette

  • Jill says:

    Wow those actually look good! When I saw the word galette…I didn’t know what it was and thought of the Spanish word for cookie (galletta) (the spelling might be off on that, sorry)

  • Emily Kuross says:

    I know! I’m still kind of confused by the term galette, actually. Because these are galettes, but some kinds of cookies are galettes, and then there’s a French cake that’s a galette too…who decides these things anyway!?

  • Peasant Girl says:

    Galettes are the most beautiful rustic way to present fresh produce.

    I’d love it if you would check out and follow my blog. It is documenting my journey exploring the American relationship with food, and how a more traditional approach to eating and meals would improve our food experience.


    • Emily Kuross says:

      Hi Peasant Girl! Thanks for letting me know about your blog – sounds like we’re interested in a lot of the same things! Best of luck with your eating adventures. Hopefully we can continue to swap inspiration and musings about whole foods and communal eating. 🙂

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