Achieving success with combining the buttery, flaky delight of puff pastry with the juicy, flavorful tomato has eluded me for some time. Puff pastry doesn’t handle liquid too well and tomatoes in the summer are all about juice. Maybe the sun drieds would work, but I make an effort to avoid those jarred chewy bits as best I can. Also, this somewhat impressive effort seems to be a good one for entertaining but it doesn’t (*at least I thought) handle being made ahead too well and therefore necessitates some focus and fussing when socializing poses distraction.Every summer I make an attempt or two. First try this season was the biggest fail of all. I saw the basket of multi-colored cherry tomatoes at the Farmers Market and felt the best place for them would be in filo dough for a potluck party contribution.
And I would tackle that filo on my own, looking at but passing up the inviting possibility of purchasing one of the pre-made options with the suspect ingredients in the supermarket freezer case.
Turns out filo dough requires many layering steps, much too time-consuming for a short party deadline. A tendency to look for a quick solution led to the decision to just forget the layering and go right ahead and mold that dough into cup form, pre-bake, add tomatoes and then bake some more.
The baking continued, both at home and on to the party’s end, but the dough remained doughy. No photos, but I think you’d agree that these would be best discarded … the dough at least. The filling, albeit a bit dry from so much oven time, was salvageable for omelets so at least those beckoning, colorful little tomatoes that caused a dreamy sense of confidence served some purpose in the end.
Returning to the make-it-simple philosophy, I’ve learned: 1) puff pastry is much less particular than filo, 2) free form is easier than cutting and shaping and 3) galettes and wellingtons can be made ahead after all.
(*After making the dough, there was no time to proceed, so it sat wrapped in the refrigerator for at least a few days. Not a problem. And after baking, we only consumed a couple. For the following days, they turned out as well re-heated as they did at the start.)
The savory galette is a new favorite. It’s easy to pull together and incredibly versatile, with filling options that extend well beyond tomatoes. For this recipe, it was leftover chicken and the kale being ignored in the crisper.
DOUGH – The dough can be measured out anywhere from bite-sized for hors d’oeuvre to pie-sized for cutting into wedges. A medium-sized galette is great served for lunch or dinner with a salad.
Images of Steps
FILLING – Options are endless: leftover chicken or beef, veggies like zucchini and corn and any gratable cheese. Eggs and bacon or sausage. Pork medallions and mushrooms.
Images of Layering
More seasonal variations to come!
Tomato and Chicken Galettes with Greens
Makes 6 individual or 1 large galette(s) | Serves 4 to 6
NOTE: See slide show above for image references.
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour, plus more for work surface (can substitute half of the white flour with Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh Thyme or Rosemary (optional)
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons), Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream, chilled
- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of minced herbs (optional) in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. This can also be done by hand if you don’t have a food processor.
- Then add the chilled butter and pulse just until incorporated into the dry ingredients, making sure not to over-mix. Butter piece will be about the size of a pea.
- Add the sour cream and pulse a few times, again being careful not to over-mix.
- Turn the entire mixture out onto a floured cutting board and gently shape it with your hands into a cylindrical shape. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to four days. If freezing, wrap tightly and when ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator for a day before using it.
FILLING and ASSEMBLY
NOTE: These are suggested measurements. Exact amounts will depend on how many and what size galettes you are making. The filling and seasonings can be altered based on your preferences and what you have on hand.
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, small dice
- Seasoning – Red Pepper Flakes, fresh or dried Thyme, herb seasoning salt, Kosher Salt, Pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, and for sprinkling on top
- Kale, Spinach or Basil, rinsed, dried and sliced in ribbons
- Sliced or Cubed Chicken, leftover or Simplest Baked
- Sliced Whole Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
- Egg White
- Preheat the oven to 425º. Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat for 30 seconds.
- Add olive oil and heat another 30 seconds.
- Add the onion and sprinkle with seasoning of choice to taste.
- Cook until onions are soft, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool to at least lukewarm.
- To assemble galettes, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a floured surface.
- Use a large sharp knife to cut the dough into desired sized segments.
- Roll out each dough segment into a circular shape and set aside until all rounds are done. Continue to flour the surface and the rolling-pin if dough begins to stick. You will be filling the dough rounds one at a time and then transferring them to the lined baking sheet.
- Leaving about a one to three-inch border around the outside, start by sprinkling cheese on the dough followed by the sautéed onions, a layer of greens, chicken and tomatoes, making pleats as you fold and leaving little or most of the filling exposed. These ingredients can be substituted with whatever options you prefer or have on hand.
- Fold up the edges of the dough, gently flipping it over the filling.
- Brush the dough with egg white and sprinkle with parmesan.
- Bake for 30-40 minutest, depending on your galette size, until the filling bubbles and the crust is golden brown.
- When done, slide onto a rack to cool. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving or let cool completely before layering between parchment paper in an airtight container.
- When ready to serve, reheat in a 350º oven on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.
Dough Recipe adapted from Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers and Artisans by Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland Oregon.