A Veggie Dilemma [Individual White Peach & Rhubarb Galettes with Rosewater Pastry]

As I was flying 40,000ft in the air over the British Columbia Rocky Mountains, something struck me (aside from the usual “I’m probably about to die. I better eat another crunchy Cheeto just in case!”)… 

I really need to eat some vegetables.

Yes, these are the thoughts that scatter throughout my mind when I’m not thinking about how the airplane is inevitably going to kill me (I get terribly psychotic on airplanes - the only cure is booze and candy… but isn’t that the cure for anything anytime?) 

The past week has been a never-ending feast of all things cream-sauced, butter-filled, sugar-crusted and hollandaised… my gut is feeling a little worse-for-wear to say the least. The very least. 

I returned home Saturday evening, tired, jet lagged and hungry, to a lively bundle of freshly cut, ruby red and green Rhubarb from my great friend Ashley’s Mom, Wendy. Keeping in mind my promise to eat more veggies and fruit this week, I got busy making some White Peach & Rhubarb Galettes. 

…..what?! Pie isn’t considered healthy? But it’s got fruit in it! Well jeez, guys. I can’t be held responsible for that! 

In all seriousness, these are not exactly healthy. But what they lack in nutrition, they make up for in utterly delightful flavour. The combination of the sweet, floral white peaches, tart rhubarb and gentle rose-water flavour is perhaps one of my new favourites. Just eat them in moderation (and don’t keep sneaking past your boyfriend to pick pieces of the dough off in the fridge and chew them as fast as you can so he doesn’t know… but he always knows).

Individual White Peach & Rhubarb Galettes with Rosewater Pastry
Pate brisee adapted from Martha Stewart

Note: White peaches, which have a lighter flesh colour and are slightly more floral in flavour than typical yellow peaches, are recommended but not mandatory in this recipe. 

Pate Brisee 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
1 tbsp rosewater
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In the bowl of a food processor (which you can chill for 30 minutes prior to dough making for optimal results), add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse for 5 seconds to blend.

Add the butter, rosewater and 2 tbsp of the ice water and pulse. Add more ice water, 1tbsp at a time while pulsing until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. When you pinch it, it should easily come together.

Pour out and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight (can be frozen and stored for 1 month).

Galette Filling
1lb (about 4 cups) trimmed rhubarb, sliced into 1” chunks
4 very ripe white peaches, pit removed, sliced thin
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp rosewater
1/4 cup cornstarch
coarse sugar for finishing

Toss all ingredient in a bowl.

Once dough has been chilled, divide into 8 equal sized portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece to a 7-inch round, 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the rounds to 2 baking sheets. Add a heaping 1/4 cup of the filling into the center of the dough. Fold edges over the filling leaving an opening in the center. 

Once all the rounds are filled and folded, brush the dough with water and sprinkle with coarse (turbinado or sanding) sugar. Place the trays in the fridge while you pre-heat the oven t0 400 degrees. 

Bake for 25 minutes until crust is golden. Turn heat down to 375 and bake until fruit filling is bubbling and set.

Remove and let cool on a wire rack with parchment paper underneath (to catch all the saucy drips).

Serve on their own, with a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.


Back to Business [Heirloom Tomato Galette with Cornmeal Crust]

Well things have just been all over the place here lately, haven’t they? 

I’ve spent this past week slightly under the weather and not wanting to do much but drink peppermint tea and watch The Real Housewives (of every city….). I’ve been sitting on a really delicious recipe for a few weeks now and I figure I’d better get it out to you before all your heirloom tomatoes are rotten or -gasp- frozen! Ok, maybe frozen is a little wishful thinking on my part. I’m anxiously awaiting the first snowfall. And now you know how terribly insane I am. 

It’s a chilly day here in Ottawa. One that begs more for a slow cooked beef soup or creamy risotto than a Galette. But you know what? I have a Galette for you so you’ll just have to bear with me and enjoy it. I promise it will be worth it. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘Galette’, it’s a general term in French Cuisine referring to an array of flat, round, free-form tarts. Rustic, unfancy, but so perfectly satisfying when piled with your favourite sweet or savoury fillings. There is something so unassumingly charming and welcoming about a flaky dough round, filled with fresh ingredients. That first slice into the tart, when the crust shatters like glass into little shards of buttery dough, always makes my heart flutter. 

I had some beautiful Heirloom tomatoes sitting pretty atop my window sill that begged for something different than my usual heirloom tomato salad…. delicious as it is. A Galette was an easy alternative to my go-to dishes that really pushed the unique-looking tomatoes to new heights of flavour. 

Heirloom Tomato Galette with Cornmeal Crust
adapted from Look I Made That

You could easily use any tomatoes you have on hand. Roasting them really helps bring out the most of any tomato. 

adapted from Fine Cooking
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal 
1 tsp sugar 
1-1/4 tsp. salt 
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” cubes
3 tbsp olive oil 
1/4 cup ice water

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until evenly distributed but still has some large, visible pieces present. 

Add the olive oil and slowly add in the ice water, mixing, until the dough starts to come together. Gather dough in your hands and shape it into a small disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour up to overnight. 

3-4 large (or 6-7 small) Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced into 1/2” rounds
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated 
handful basil, sliced into ribbons
coarse salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

On a floured board, roll dough out into a round about the size of a dinner plate. See? Rustic means we’re not being fancy here. 

Leaving about 1.5” around the edge of the dough clean, slather your Dijon mustard over the dough. Top mustard with grated Gruyere. Arrange tomatoes over the cheese and sprinkle with coarse salt, pepper and basil. 

Carefully pick up the edges of the dough and fold it over the filling. If
the dough breaks, just pinch it back together and call it a day. There are fancier ways to fold the dough if you’re looking for something with a little more ‘ooooooh’ appeal, but I love the simple, messy look of this method.

Bake on a preheated pizza stone or baking sheet for 10 minutes or until browned on top. Reduce heat to 325 and continue cooking until tomatoes are gooey and baked, about 40-50 minutes. 

Serve with some lightly dressed micro greens or a simple arugula salad to give a nice spicy contrast to the rich tomatoes.