I should not complain - it's not polite and there are worse things going on in the world, but ... it's getting stuffy around my place. The cold clutches of winter are a distant memory, and yes, it gets cold in the high desert so "pfft". I'm glad it's spring. I welcome spring. Come oooooooooooon spring! But it's getting stuffy in my little white-trash trailer and I cannot put off servicing the swamp coolers much longer.
If you don't know what a swamp cooler is, I pity you and the fact you must deal with humidity some summertime. Dry heat is my kinda heat, thank you very much.
So when it's stuffy what do you do? You throw open windows and doors, toss the puplets outside on the front porch and set about making a hearty whole-wheat galete with fresh spring veggies, herbs and globs of comforting ricotta. Admittedly, most of my recipes are still pilfered from one form or another (cookbook, cooking magazine, cooking website and/or blog) and this is no different. Featured recently at Bon Appetit.com, you can go directly to their recipe here, or read on and follow my slightly adjusted version below.
What worked for me: The use of fresh and timely spring veggies and herbs which I'm finding in abundance, gratefully, at the local supermarket.
What didn't work for me: The directions for the whole-wheat dough. But I'm not blaming Bon Appétit - dough is finicky and I'm admittedly a terrible baker, so the fault quite possibly is mine. My dough was too dry - perhaps I should have added one more tablespoon of water, or maybe my water should have been colder. Or maybe I let the processor run too long and I obliterated the pea-sized pieces of chilled butter that should run throughout. I'm not sure. I'll try again, because every recipe should be thought of as merely a starting point. A point of lift-off I suppose. I loved the earthy density of the whole wheat, but it was not tender enough this first go-round.
This is one of those great recipes that has easily-obtainable ingredients - living in a remote location this always gets me excited. My only trade-out were the mushrooms. I simply swapped cremini mushrooms for the recommended maitake. And you know what? I'm guessing the nice folks over at Bon Appétit won't mind. The goal here is to simply provide a deep, meaty flavor to this vegetarian dish without including meat. Let me know how this one goes for you! I'd be interested to see if I'm the only knob who still struggles with pastry ... ;)
Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette
Ever-so-slightly adapted from Bon Appétit
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stickes) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1. Pulse all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl; drizzle in the vinegar and 1/4 cup ice water. Mix together with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoon of needed (I think I needed), just until a shaggy dough comes together; lightly knead the dough until no dry spots remain but do not overwork the dough. Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least two hours.
Do ahead: The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
1 cup ricotta cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 oz cremini mushrooms (or any fresh mushrooms you have available), thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 bunch large Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 cup mixed fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, dill, and/or chives
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. Season the ricotta with kosher salt and black pepper; set aside.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add half of the chard, season with kosher salt and pepper and cook, tossing, until slightly wilted. Add remaining chard and cook, tossing occasionally, until completely wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured counter to a 14" round about 1/8" thick. Transfer to a pizza peel dusted with corn meal or semolina. Alternatively, you can roll out the dough on lightly floured parchment paper, then transfer the dough and parchment paper to a baking sheet. Spread three-fourths of the ricotta over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2" border. Top with reserved chard, then mushrooms. Dollop he remaining ricotta over the vegetables. Bring the edges of the dough up and over the filling, overlapping as needed, to create a 1 1/2" border; brush with the egg wash. Bake the galette, either on a pizza stone (as I did) or on a baking sheet, rotating once, until the crust is golden brown and cooked through, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Toss the herbs with the lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with pepper. Top the galette with the herbs, zest and sea salt. Poor yourself a lovely glass of white wine and enjoy (preferably outside on the back porch with pups lounging at your feet)!