I am part of a group of girls that call ourselves the Food Group. A few of us met through volunteering with Cooking Matters and have expanded with other food minded friends. The theme of our group is a shared interest in and/or a career in a food related field. We have a nutritionist/trainer, a personal chef, a cheese and charcuterie expert and animal loving farming blogger...and me. Needless to say, the food offerings at these gatherings are always eye-popping, conversation stoppers.
I was flipping through my Cooking Light magazine a few days before the party, and came across this galette recipe. I had never made a galette before, but is sounded very similar to the deep dish Chicago style pizza my family would always get when visiting the Windy City. The buttery dense crust stuck in my mind since the last time we visited.
This crust consists of flour, cornmeal, butter and salt. Considering this recipe is from Cooking Light, I imagine other recipes use a lot more butter. But it was plenty rich for the Food Group. The original recipe has tomatoes and feta toppings. I was in a more earthy mood, so mushrooms and asparagus were the main feature. Roasted garlic was the flavor enhancer.
The instructions below make this recipe look long and complicated, but it really is quite easy. You can choose whatever toppings suit your fancy, and you certainly don't have to roast garlic and saute a bunch of veggies. You can do as the original recipe says and use lots of tomatoes and basil. I did add some basil leaves to the galette immediately after taking it out of the oven, which added a nice freshness.
Also, I put the cheese on a bit too early, so it got a little more burnt than I wished...as you can see in the picture above. So I changed the instructions below to account for that error. Otherwise, it was a great complement to our white bean dip, kale salad, asparagus with balsamic reduction and rhubarb pudding cake...and of course wine.
Basil Asparagus and Fresh Mozzarella Galette
Inspired by Cooking Light June 2011
Makes about 8 servings
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and diced into small cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
6 Tbsp water, from a glass of ice water
1 bulb garlic
-Olive oil, salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup crimini and shiitake mushrooms
-1 Shallot, diced
-Thyme and pepper
Asparagus, sliced in half
-Olive oil and dried basil
Artichoke hearts, defrosted from frozen or canned and drained
Fresh basil, minced
Prepare the dough first because it has to rest for a half hour. Measure out the flour, making sure to level it off with a knife, in the measuring cup before turning the flour into the bowl of a food processor. On top of the flour, add the cornmeal, butter and 1 tsp of the salt. Process these ingredients until it is a sandy texture. Keep the processor on, take the lid off the food chute and slowly add 6 Tbsp of water from a glass of ice water. Only process until it mixes, just before forming a ball.
Preheat oven to 425.
Press the dough into a 6 inch flattened circle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. While this is resting, roast the garlic if you are using it as a topping. Cut cross-sectionally across the top of the garlic bulb, so you can see a little bit of the tips of each clove. Either place on top of a piece of foil, or in an oven safe container that has a lid. Drizzle some olive oil over the bulb and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If using foil, wrap into a neat little package. Place in oven and roast for about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the other toppings. Heat a small saute pan on medium heat and add olive oil. Add shallots and saute for a few minutes. Add in the mushrooms, thyme and pepper. Saute until they are a few moments from being cooked. They will cook again on the galette.
Toss the raw asparagus in olive oil and dried basil. Set aside. Saute the artichoke hearts in olive oil and dried oregano, until just cooked.
When dough is adequately rested, remove the plastic wrap. On a cutting board coated in corn meal, spread dough out into a large circle. Transplant it onto a pizza stone or baking sheet lined with parchment.
After you have removed the garlic from the oven, keep the oven at 425. This will be the galette's temperature as well.
Arrange the mushrooms, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts and asparagus onto the dough, making sure to leave 1-2 inches of 'crust' because you will fold this over. Drizzle a little olive oil if you want a little more. Sprinkle with the rest of the salt and pepper to your taste. Fold the outer edges over about an inch, to form a thicker crust so that it covers a little bit of the toppings.
Put in oven for about 25 minutes, without the cheese. You do this so the crust cooked adequately. Check on it about halfway through if you want to be sure it is cooking thoroughly. Add cheese after 25 minutes. Cook until the cheese browns to your liking. Take out of oven and sprinkle with the fresh basil.
Cut into 8 pieces and serve alongside a nice kale salad and sauteed asparagus.