When you call something “rustic” it’s often done with connotations. Well, it’s not Madison Avenue but, … It’s delightful, despite …
Rarely does “rustic” come across as a 110% compliment.
But there are times when it should. Flo Braker, a true national treasure of baking, has created this tart that can only be described as rustic. The thick crust must be roughly draped over the tart contents. Oh, those contents. Onion and onions and crème fraiche and goat cheese. You bite through a very thick curst, itself distinctive because of corn meal and buttermilk, and then enter the treasure of all those internal flavors.
This tart is fine cold, but really, truly, you want to sample it hot out of the oven. Gooey, flowing, a fireworks of textures and flavors.
This can be a perfect appetizer, a side dish, or — combined with an equally rustic salad — a complete meal.
With its suggested mixture of onion types, you are clearly free to mix and match to your pleasure. Each new combination will generate a distinctive, but surely delicious flavor.
Three Onion and Leek Tart with Goat Cheese and Crème Fraiche
Yield: enough for 6 persons as a side dish
For the Crust:
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- ⅓ cup ice water
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup corn meal
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, chunked
For the Onion Topping:
- 1 leek, white and light green parts sliced thin and rinsed thoroughly
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thin
- 1 large red onion, sliced thin
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Cream:
- ¼ cup crème fraiche
- ¼ cup goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Crust:
Mix the buttermilk with the ice water in a small measuring cup and keep cold. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and cornmeal, then “pinch in” the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal of uneven sized crumbs. Using a tablespoon, sprinkle a bit of the buttermilk-water mixture over the meal a bit at a time and mix lightly with a fork until it begins to hold together. Only add as much liquid as needed to form a soft but not sticky dough.
Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it, wrap well in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. If you’d like to make two or more smaller tarts, divide the dough accordingly, flatten and refrigerate.
To Make the Cream:
Combine the crème fraiche, goat cheese, thyme and seasoning in a small bowl and stir until well blended. Leave at room temperature until ready to use.
To Make the Filling:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add all the vegetables at once, stirring to coat with the oil. Cook slowly, and stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft and very fragrant, but not browned, about 15 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
To Assemble and Bake the Tart:
Remove the dough from the fridge and between two sheets of plastic, roll into one or more disks about 1/8″ in thickness. Place on a parchment lined baking pan and spread a light layer of the crème over the surface, leaving at least a 1-inch boarder.
Mound the softened onion filling over the crème, and then fold the edge of the dough up over the filling pleating it as needed.
Lightly salt and pepper and place in a preheated 400°F oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool briefly on the baking sheet and either serve immediately, or cool completely at room temperature on a baking rack.
Source: Flo Braker
Sometimes your food discoveries just pop up unexpectedly, but deliciously. Suzen and I were wandering the Ferry Building in San Francisco on a Saturday, the site of perhaps the best farmers’ market in the country. It is a triumphant maze of new and old flavors, sights, and scents. There is nothing quite like it. You have to come early, before the tamale kiosk runs out. Never mind the line with fifty plus people. It’s worth the wait.
Post tamale, I was walking inside the Ferry Building when I saw a familiar face. I flagged down Suzen and she shared smiles and conversations with Joanne Weir. There for a book signing, Joanne graciously took time to walk us through her new [Tequila] and recent book [Wine Country Cooking]. We bought both, knowing the Weir is one of those “authors you can totally trust.” Her recipes are delicious, dependable, and masterfully written.
This galette, from Wine Country Cooking, is a perfect first dish for a rich meal, or can be the entry for an elegant Sunday brunch. Marry the galette with a crisp salad and you cannot have a more lovely meal. This recipe calls for four types of cheese, which means you have latitude here to add, subtract, and substitute. This galette features superior crust, married with all those melted cheeses, with the spike of spring green onions. Head for your cheese shop and prepare to be comfortably pleased.
Goat Cheese and Green Onion Galette
Yield: serves 6Cake Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup [1 stick] plus 1 tablespoon butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled in the freezer for 1 hour
⅓ to ½ cup ice water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunch green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
5 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces ricotta cheese
¾ cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup crème fraiche
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Put the flour in a bowl and chill in the freezer for 1 hour. Place the flour and ¼ teaspoon salt on a cold work surface. With a pastry scraper, cut the frozen butter into the flour until half of the butter clumps are the size of peas and the rest are a little larger. Make a well in the center and add half o f the ice water. Push together with your fingertips and set aside any dough that holds together. Add the rest of the water and repeat. Form the mixture into a rough ball.
Alternately, this can be made by judiciously pulsing the ingredients in a food processor, using the same technique, until half is the size of peas and the other half a little larger. Pour the mixture out onto your work surface and add the water as above. Do not add it into the food processor. Form the mixture into a rough ball. Or this can be made in an electric mixer using the same technique.
On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle and trim the edges. Place on a large baking sheet and refrigerate.
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Mix together the green onions, goat cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, crème fraiche, and Parmigiano. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Remove the pasty from the refrigerator. Spread the cheese mixture over the pastry, leaving a 2 ½-inch border around the edge uncovered. Fold the uncovered edge of the pastry over the cheese, pleating it to make it fit. The filling will be exposed in the center of the galette.
Bake the galette in the oven until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then slide the galette off the pan and onto a serving plate. Serve hot, war, or at room temperature.
Source: Wine Country Cooking by Joanne Weir