Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette

The first people I ever knew in my whole life who had a farm share were our dear friends Bobbie and Thom, who live in Hopewell, and who were at the time members of the Watershed CSA (now called Honeybrook).  They were the ones who first introduced the concept of Community Supported Agriculture into my consciousness, where it remained, hovering on the sidelines, until my first farm apprenticeship job after college; so, in a way, they are the people you have to thank for the existence of the Big Red Farm!  And the main thing I remember about that particular conversation around their dinner table in, oh, let's say 1996 is that they were up to their ears in Swiss chard.

There was much humorous discussion about what to do with all the chard.  Thatch the roof?  Use it as currency?  (Puns of the "cash or chard?" variety were thrown around.)  Now, as an adult who happily eats greens, and as a CSA farmer, I experience this whole Swiss chard problem from both sides.  On the one hand, it's easy to grow, has a long season, isn't susceptible to too many pests and diseases, and is both very beautiful and very nutritious.  Of course I'm going to put it in your share every week!  On the other hand, after having it sauteed, pureed, and risotto'd ten or twelve times each, I'll be the first to admit that one finds oneself asking, in consternation, why is there so much chard in the world?!

So, I'm always on the lookout for new chard recipes!  Alison Easterling sent me this one (thanks, Alison!), and since I absolutely feel you can't miss with a savory galette, I am excited to share it with you all.  A couple of thoughts, if the whole pastry/rolling/assembling thing isn't your cup of tea: you could use these toppings on a pizza, which would be especially quick with purchased crust or dough (many pizza places will sell you a lump of dough for a couple of bucks).  You could also make an omelet with these fillings, which would be gluten free and really really good.  Finally, you could cook up a mess of chard and mushrooms, throw it on a plate, dollop ricotta on top, sprinkle with fresh herbs, and have a nice vegetarian meal that contains protein, chlorophyll, iron, and other awesomeness.  But... if you're up for it, I recommend the galette!

adapted from the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen

serves 4

for pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or white whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

for filling:
1 cup ricotta (feeling ambitious and/or DIY-ish? Try this)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, maitake, or whatever you like, thinly sliced or torn
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large bunch Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces
1 large egg, beaten to blend
good handful mixed fresh tender herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, and/or chives)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
flaky sea salt (optional but delicious)

Make pastry:
Pulse all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle with vinegar and 1/4 cup ice water. Mix with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful if needed, just until a shaggy dough comes together; lightly knead until no dry spots remain (do not overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.  (Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

Make filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Season ricotta with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; season with kosher salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add half of 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.

Assemble galette:
Roll out dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment to a 14" round about 1/8" thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet. Spread three-fourths of ricotta over dough, leaving a 1 1/2" border. Top with chard, then mushrooms. Dollop remaining ricotta over vegetables. Bring edges of dough up and over filling, pleating as needed; brush crust with egg. Bake galette until crust is golden brown and cooked through, 35–40 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Let cool slightly on baking sheet.

Toss herbs with lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl; season with pepper. Top galette with herbs, zest, and sea salt.  Serve warm.

So I made this exactly as written and it was good.  But next time I may make a couple of changes.  Here they are:

  • I love the nutty crunch that whole wheat flour brings, but this pastry dough was very crumbly!  Rolling it out on parchment paper was definitely a good idea, and this is a free-form galette, so a few broken spots aren't a big deal.  For an easier dough to work with, though, I might use this galette pastry next time.
  • The lemony fresh herbs sprinkled on at the end added a nice flavor, but didn't "stick" to the galette the way I wanted them to.  Every time I cut it they fell off.  I think next time I'll mix the fresh herbs, lemon zest, and olive oil (I'd probably skip the lemon juice for this method) right in with the ricotta in the first step.  Another option might be to sprinkle the herbs onto the galette halfway (or more) through the baking time, so that they get stuck to the galette but don't burn.

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