Long ago, a friend came to visit bearing a galette. (She was always a culinary trend-setter.) The galette was a yummy thing, flat like a pizza but with a crust like a pie crust—no yeast required. Now galettes seem to be everywhere and I’ve been longing to jump on the trend. Recently I saw a recipe for a rhubarb galette in Bon Appetit magazine, a galette that incorporated an ingredient traditional with some galettes: the dough was a combination of regular flour and buckwheat flour.
Also long ago, my husband and I visited a restored village in New Brunswick and came away with a bag of buckwheat flour from an old mill that had been put back into operation. We learned that buckwheat actually isn’t a type of wheat at all but is the seed of a plant in the rhubarb family. It’s been cultivated by humans all around the globe for millennia and was a very common crop in North America in the 18th and 19th centuries—thus the mill in the restored village.
After that trip, buckwheat pancakes became a Sunday-morning tradition, especially when our son and daughter-in-law visit, and the original bag of buckwheat flour has been refilled many times. Buckwheat flour is easy to find online, if not locally.
Because we always have a stock of buckwheat flour, I’m always on the lookout for other things to do with it. I decided I’d make a buckwheat galette of my own, but a savory galette, and for the filling I’d use a variation on the filling for a vegetarian quiche I often make with chard, mushrooms, and sharp white cheddar. I knew the buckwheat would give a slightly nutty flavor to the crust, so to complement that I replaced the cheddar with Swiss cheese. For the mushrooms I used Baby Bellas, but any mushroom will do.
Because the filling would go on a flat piece of pastry rather than into a quiche pan, I reduced the number of eggs and the amount of cream.
Ingredients—Mushroom, Chard, and Swiss Cheese Galette with Buckwheat Crust
For the crust:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (4 oz.) butter
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
3 tbs. butter, divided
Salt and pepper
1 lb. mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 good-sized bunch Swiss chard
1 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 large egg or two small
1/4 cup heavy cream
To make the dough for your crust:
Mix the flour, buckwheat flour, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cut the butter into little pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until only pea-sized pieces of flour-covered butter remain.
Sprinkle the ice water over the flour and butter mixture and, still using your hands, work the contents of the bowl into a stiff dough. Transfer it to a work surface and continue kneading until there are no dry bits and the texture is fairly uniform.
Divide the dough into four portions, flatten each until it’s about 3/4 inch thick, and stack them on top of each other. Press down on the stack to make a disk about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for at least an hour. (You can make it way ahead and refrigerate it for a few days.)
To make the filling:
Wash the mushrooms and discard the stems. Slice the caps. You should have about 3 cups but more or less is fine. Remove and discard the stems and ribs from the chard. Wash and drain the leaves and chop them coarsely. You should have about 8 cups but more or less is fine.
Melt 2 tbs. butter in a large frying pan. Saute the mushrooms until they are tender, 10 minutes or so. Scoop them into a medium-sized bowl with a slotted spoon. Season them with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grindings of pepper. Raise the heat under the frying pan to reduce the mushroom liquid—you don’t want to waste this tasty stuff. When it’s down to a few tablespoons, pour it over the mushrooms.
Melt the remaining tsp. of butter in the frying pan. Don’t worry if remnants of the mushroom liquid remain—just blend them with the butter. Add the minced garlic and cook over low heat for a few minutes until it no longer looks raw. Pile the chopped chard into the frying pan and put the cover on. Raise the heat to medium and cook the chard until it’s tender, 5 to 10 minutes, raising the cover now and then to check on it and stir it. When the chard is tender, scoop it into the bowl with the mushrooms, using a slotted spoon. Reduce the chard liquid as you did the mushroom liquid and when it’s down to a few tablespoons, pour it over the combined mushrooms and chard. Season the mixture with another 1/2 tsp. salt and a few more grindings of pepper. Add the grated cheese to the bowl.
Beat the egg or eggs with the cream and add that to the bowl. Mix everything well.
To assemble the galette:
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Set it on a floured surface large enough to accommodate a 14” circle. Flour a rolling pin, sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough, and start rolling. At first it will be tough going, but the dough will warm up a bit and become more manageable. Lift it from time to time and sprinkle more flour under it. Try to make a circle that’s 14” in diameter. You might end up with a ragged shape that isn’t a circle, but this pastry is quite forgiving. You can trim off pieces and patch them elsewhere to even up a jagged edge. Moisten the edge you are repairing with a tiny bit of water to get the patch to stick.
Before you assemble your galette, transfer the rolled-out pastry to the pan you will use to bake the galette. I used a pizza pan, but you can use a rectangular cookie sheet. It’s okay if the pastry flops over the edges at this stage. The baking pan only has to accommodate the finished galette, which will be about 11” in diameter.
Grease the pan with a tiny bit of oil or soft butter. To transfer the pastry easily, use the same technique you’d use for a pie: fold it gently into quarters, move it, and unfold it.
Mound the filling in the middle of the pastry. Gently distribute it so it comes within an inch and a half of the pastry edge. Don’t worry if there’s a bit of liquid. Now fold the edge up all the way around—the effect should be like what you see in the picture of my baked galette.
Bake the galette at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. The pastry should be attractively browned when you remove it.
When a murder shocks picturesque Arborville, New Jersey, Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble knitting club suddenly find themselves at the center of the investigation—as suspects . . .
Pamela is ready to kick back and relax after a busy day selling stuffed aardvarks to benefit Arborville High School’s sports program at the annual town festival. But just as she’s packing up, she makes a terrible discovery—someone’s stashed a body under the Knit and Nibble’s table. The victim is Randall Jefferson, a decidedly unpopular history teacher after his recent op-ed criticizing the school’s sports program. But the primary suspect has an alibi, and the only clue is a stuffed aardvark found on the victim’s chest . . . Now the Knit and Nibblers must unravel the case quickly—before a crafty killer repeats a deadly pattern.
Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!