|Galette with carrots, potatoes and spinach. © Ryan Schierling|
So, what's the story? I was possessed by the desire to make something kinda post-holidays thrifty, beautiful, vegetarian and main-dish worthy. Those poor veggies; they really do get short shrift sometimes when it comes to prime time on the plate. A true "entree" featuring vegetables is a tricky one to pull off without resorting to some form of a casserole. One elegant attempt that comes to mind all too clearly was a mixed vegetable pave I was once served for dinner on a wine train excursion. It was over a decade ago, but I remember it well because as lovely an idea as it was, it tasted terrible. I'm not sure exactly what was in it, but there were suspicions that it included some poorly-seasoned okra. The idea, however, was interesting to me.
Last year Ryan pulled out the mandolin and made a wonderful potato pave. I loved the structure of the layered potatoes, but I was thinking of something a little more rustic that incorporated more colorful vegetables – carrots and spinach – and that wasn't quite so time intensive.
|Elements. © Ryan Schierling|
The quality of the carrots makes a huge difference in a dish like this, so the best organic specimens you can find will be well worth it.
I've made this twice, now. The first time I used a recipe from our 1961 copy of Gourmet's Basic French Cookbook as a guide on the pie dough recipe.The second time I was considering using a pastry recipe intended for galettes that includes eggs, but I was so happy with how the first one turned out, I stuck with it. (One of these days I'll try it that way, though.) This is a relatively tall galette, however, and when you fold pastry dough full of butter like this over those high edges, it has a tendency to melt and slide down the sides a little before firming up. The second time I made it I wanted to go even taller, so I used the ring portion of a spring-form pan to support the sides through the first half of baking time. It was a little tricky, but worked out pretty nicely in the end to allow for a tall, if not a little more uniform around the edges, rustic pie.
Yeah, there are a couple of "fancy gadgets" I put to good use... But we're thrifty – both our food processor and mandolin were used finds we paid a fraction to acquire. The ingredients are downright elemental. This will easily serve 6-8 and shouldn't set you back more than about ten bucks.
Tasty hot or cold, I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.
Potato and Carrot Gratin Galette
Pastry - Adapted from Gourmet's Basic French Cookbook, Pastry for Two-crust Pies
1/2 cup organic dark rye flour
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (put in freezer for 15 minutes)
Ice water, 7-10 tablespoons to consistency.
Sift flour into a bowl (I just use a fine-mesh strainer) then put in food processor. Add salt, and butter in pieces. Pulse until the butter is in small pea- to lentil-sized pieces. (This can also be done manually with a pastry blender.) Spoon water from a bowl of ice water by the tablespoon and pulse a few times after each addition. The dough is ready when it holds together when pinched. (Note: These are not weight measures. We store our flour in the freezer and used a higher fiber brand of all-purpose flour, so this accounts for the adjustment from the 6-7 tablespoons of water the recipe called for.) Turn out onto a sheet of cling-wrap and form into a thick disc. Wrap and put into refrigerator to chill for about an hour, or while preparing the filling. (Dough may also be made a day ahead.)
1 pint half & half
1 large (1 lb.) russet potato, peeled and sliced 1/8" thick using mandolin
2 large cloves garlic, smashed and rough chopped
3 large (1 lb.) organic carrots, peeled and sliced 1/8" thick using mandolin
1 large sprig rosemary
4 ounces cream cheese
Salt to taste.
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
|Pastry, carrot, potato, spinach. © Ryan Schierling|
|Galette goes vertical. © Ryan Schierling|
Remove spring form ring and brush on egg wash at the 15-20 minute mark.
Allow to rest for a 5-10 minutes, slice and serve.