Friday, June 29, 2012

Easy Tomato Galette

It's time. Tomatoes fresh off the vine are crowding my Farmer's Market. There are brilliant reds and striped greens and dusky purple and pear-shaped yellow and tear-drop reds that look and taste like candy. Southern Californian's are estatic. The cardboard tasting, artificially ripened, anemic looking tomatoes of winter are gone. Hallalujah.

In case you've never made a galette, let me tell you that if I can do it, you can do it. If you've followed my Saturday blog at this site for very long, you know how much I hate to cook. You've probably also noticed that my recipes are fast and easy--another outcome of finding the kitchen the most boring room in the house.

A galette is a sort of one crust pie that's baked on a cookie sheet. For this galette, I made a yeast crust. However, I'm going back to my biscuit-like crust because it's not only flaky, but for this particular recipe, I think it tastes better. Another thing I'm going to change is putting on more tomatoes than the recipe calls for. And while I did overlap them to a degree, I didn't account for shrinkage, so that when I removed it from the oven, there were gaping spaces where tomatoes should have been.

A biscuit crust is simple to make. I made mine in my food processor because I'm lazy, but it can just as easily be made by hand. So get out a large bowl and add:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, choppped
1 cup vegetable shortning (I use Crisco)
1/2 cup cold water, a Tbs. at a time. You may not need all of it.

Whiz in the processor until a dough ball forms. Do not overprocess or your crust will be tough.

Wrap the dough ball in saran, put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then roll it out into a large circle and place it on a sheet pan.

Now slice 2-3 large tomatoes into 1/4 inch rounds.

Put the galette together:

Use 2-3 Tbs. olive oil to paint the top of the crust. It will ensure that the crust bottom will be crisp and not soggy.

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard, painted on top of the oil.

2 garlic cloves, minced, spread on top of the mustard.

Place the sliced tomatoes in circles on top of the crust, leaving about an inch of crust all around to fold over as an edge.

Salt and pepper the tomatoes. Add a bit more chopped fresh rosemary if you're so inclined and a couple drizzles of olive oil.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

While the galette is baking, make the herb topping:

1 small head of garlic, roasted and cooled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. chopped rosemary
1 Tbs. minced basil
1 cup vegan ricotta

Mix all ingredients together. Serve on top of the galette slices for a smooth, herby taste that perfectly compliments the tomatoes.

Serves 4-5 as a side dish.

Purchase whatever is seasonal because there will be plenty, cost less, and taste best.

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