One good meatless recipe: the forgiving galette is unforgettable


Novice cooks, rustic vegetable galettes have your name written all over it.

They are as simple as they come — the crust could be made with store-bought ready-to-bake puff pastry sheets, the savory filling can be prepared with whatever vegetables you have on hand, and the recipe does not require a fancy tart pan or even a pie dish; a cookie sheet or baking tray will suffice.

If you are not a master of rolling out a puff pastry sheet to a perfect circle, it’s plenty fine; the galette won’t hold it against it you. Even if the crust is remotely round, it is still a galette.

Just like its shape, the definition also is loose and free-form. The French native is derived from the word galet, meaning a smooth, flat pebble. By definition it is a cake-like creation, but in today’s world it’s a rustic tart made with a single pastry, and looks like a pizza. The filling can be sweet or savory, and the sides of the galette can be folded up or crimped and left rather flat.

The loosey-goosey attitude of a vegetable galette extends to its filling, which can be made combining broccoli, red peppers, Parmesan and pesto; or tomatoes, spinach and feta; or eggplant, zucchini and goat cheese.

Although there are no hard-and-fast rules to follow, the galette will be pie perfect if you keep a couple of minor tips in mind. Lightly flour the dough and roll it out on parchment paper so it won’t stick. The paper also will come in handy to help fold the edges of the dough over the filling.

It’s important that the filling is dry as this will prevent the pastry dough from getting soggy. Finally, don’t pile the filling high. The galette is cooked on a cookie sheet and not in a pie pan, and so remember that the crust is not getting any help to hold its structure.

At the end of it all, tips or no tips, a galette is just a laid-back pie that is a shoo-in inductee for the Simple Recipe Hall of Fame.

———

BROCCOLI + RED PEPPER + PESTO GALETTE

PG tested

One way of keeping the galette’s crust crisp and firm is dust breadcrumbs over the pastry sheet before topping it with pesto and the vegetable filling.

2 teaspoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets

Pinch of salt

1 cup roasted red pepper strips (from, jar), patted dry

1 frozen puff pastry sheet (from 17.3-ounce package), thawed

Flour for dusting on sheet

2 tablespoon breadcrumbs

1/4 cup basil pesto

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium flame. Add garlic, and stir for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add broccoli florets and salt and cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat; set aside.

Lightly flour pastry sheet on roll it out on parchment paper. Brush off excess flour. Then place pastry dough on a rimmed cookie sheet tray, along with the parchment paper.

Sprinkle breadcrumbs and then spread pesto over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

Arrange broccoli florets and red pepper strips on top of the cheese, still leaving the border clear.

Fold the uncovered edge of pastry over the filling.

Brush galette with beaten egg and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves 4.

— Arthi Subramaniam


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