September 27, 2009

Tomato Galette


Galettes are my new best friend. Now that I have a fail-proof crust (see First Fall Galette), and permission to make a funky shaped tart (thankfully a rustically imperfect form is inherent to the nature and beauty of a galette), I am empowered to make a galette any old time.
Years ago my mother-in-law, a great cook, served a mouth-wateringly delicious tomato galette. All who were at lunch that day have talked and salivated about this meal for nearly half a decade. I finally asked her where she got the recipe and of course it was from Alice Waters’ Vegetables. It is so damned good - you have to try it.



Ingredients

½ Galette Dough (see First Fall Galette)
2-3 large shallots (or 2 yellow onions)
1 bunch basil
2-3 dozen cherry tomatoes, or 3 large tomatoes
Cantal cheese (Waters calls or 8 oz Cantal. I prefer 4 oz Cantal and 2-3 oz parmesean)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out pastry dough between two pieces of parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Return dough to fridge while preparing other ingredients.

My mom has had great success growing shallots in Bolinas this year, so I sliced these instead of yellow onion. Saute with olive oil until softened. Then toss in a handful of basil leaves that will wilt in the warm oil. Let cool. I am in love with an amazing heirloom basil that has miniature leaves. This variety has been easier to grow than the regular basil, which goes to seed so quickly. Plus no need to chop.

Cut tomatoes into slices 1/8 thick. Set aside on paper towel to drain.

Grate Cantal and Parmesean. (Note: Cantal is hard to find but worth the search.) Set aside.

Take dough from refrigerator. Leave the parchment on the bottom for baking. Spread 1/2 of cheese over bottom of crust. Leave almost 2 inches as a border. Next spread shallots over the cheese. (Save any extra oil used to cook the shallots to drizzle over the top layer of the galette.) Next place a solid layer of basil leaves. I like the bigger basil leaves here. Then the tomato slices should be placed in an overlapping layer like a hand of cards. Finally toss the remaining cheese over the top and drizzle the leftover shallot oil. Flip up the sides of the dough to make a shell for the goodies inside. Ready to bake.

Bake on the bottom rack the oven for 45-50 minutes. Take out when the bottom is brown. Slide onto a cooling rack. Sprinkle top with mini basil leaves or regular chopped basil. Serve with a simple salad. Yum.

Serves 4-6 as appetizer, or 3 as main dish

Psst...be forewarned that I am going to have a few more tomato recipes this week in honor of Indian Summer and our first successful tomato crop.



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