Saturday, August 13, 2005

More from you say tomato

I am trying to put a dent in my tomato supply by working my way through Joanne Weir's cookbook you say tomato. A couple recipes seem very promising but the one I selected to start with is Tomato Galette. My Le Petit Larousse Illustré describes a galette as something round and flat based on wheat flour and oven baked. That definition would fit this recipe, except for the fact that the ingredients have a more Italian flavor. The crust is made with polenta as well as wheat flour and the cheese base was equal parts of mozzarella and fontina. I've also seen similar things called pies, tarts and tortas. Whatever. Whether I should describe it as délicieux or squisito, I'll make it again!

The crust was excellent. The author intended it to be made with either polenta or cornmeal and all-purpose flour. I decided to go really rustic so I chose the polenta and used white whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose. It turned out to be wonderfully flaky but also to have a very nutty crunch. And I like my food to be as kinesthetic as it is yummy and good to look at. This crust certainly filled that bill!

I've never, at least knowingly, had fontina cheese before. It seemed like it was time to correct that so I made a special trip to the market for the cheese. The bit I sampled before grating the rest up for the galette was very nice. I liked the smokey quality I tasted in it. I'm glad I took the time to do that, too, because I certainly would have missed that note when it was all finished and gooey crisp.

Besides mucking with the crust (I don't think I'm capable of not messing around with a recipe...) I also added a layer of thinly sliced onion and garlic tossed in a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.

The construction is simple as can be: roll out a circle of pastry, layer on the cheeses tossed with a chiffonade of fresh basil leaving a 2 inch margin of pastry bare, top with the onion and garlic, arrange tomatoes on top, sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper, then turn the bare portion of pastry up over the toppings. I improvised again by patting the top of the crust with a bit of olive oil and grating some Parmesan over the exposed tomatoes. The hardest part was moving the galette with it's molten cheese to a serving plate. When I do this again, I'll put some parchment down over the silcone mat so that I can lift the whole thing onto the serving plate and then simple rip away the parchment without disturbing the softer bottom crust.

Bottom line: Tomato Galette is definitely a "keeper". Small slices would make a very nice appetizer. More generous slices served with a tossed salad would make a great Summer lunch and served with roasted chicken it would make a complete dinner. Bravo!, Joanne Weir.


Blogger Barbara said...

Rainey - I sent you a private mesage on CnZ. Did you get it?

12:30 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

Yum Rainey, that looks SO GOOD! I wish I had a piece for lunch!

8:50 AM  
Blogger galinusa said...

Hi Rainey! I finally located your blog from Nic :) I got your lovely package. Do check out my post on it! And thanks so much again!

7:34 PM  
Blogger ChichaJo said...

Hi! Thanks for the tip on bread-making! I will try it out soon. BTW, how do you store the piece of dough you "save" for your other loaves? Do you just keep it in the fridge? And when you add it to your next batch to you have to change the quantities of the recipe? Sorry so many questions!

This tomato galette sounds really good! :)

-- joey

9:27 AM  
Blogger Rainey said...

If you bake a lot and you can use the dough the following day, you can just leave it at room temperature. I use plastic containers with tight lids. Use a container that's 2-3 times the size of the levain.

If you won't get back to it for 36 or 48 hours or more, I'd refrigerate it. If you refrigerate or freeze it for a prolonged time, I'd "proof" it before I used it. That is to say, I'd pull off a little and stir it into a slurry with some flour, water and a pinch of sugar in a graduated container. Note where it sits after you stir it up and give it 15-20 minutes to get bubbly and grow. If it doesn't, it will still give your bread flavor and improved keeping qualities but you'll need to use yeast. BTW, I always use 1/4 tsp. of yeast, myself.

I've never frozen a levain. I go through periods when I bake a lot of bread and then others when I don't and restart with a new sponge.

Have fun! Making bread is such a sensual, satisfying thing to do. ;>

10:08 AM  
Blogger ChichaJo said...

Thank you, thank you Rainey! :)

10:50 AM  
Blogger FoodNinja said...

Tomatoes are phobia of mine..scarry

2:35 PM  
Blogger Rainey said...

Then you definitely want to avoid the entry on the Tomato Tasting! ;>

3:17 PM  

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