This is the most wonderful dinner for one. It’s perfect with a little dollop of sour cream, a Stella Artois, and the latest episode of Project Runway. It is hearty without being heavy, the crust is light and flaky, and while it’s a simple recipe, all of the individual flavors really shone through. Actually, the crust was so good that I think it’s worthy of it’s own post, which I’ll get to in the next few days.
A galette is basically a free-form tart. You roll out your pastry dough, mound your choice of filling in the center, then pull the edges up to sort of hold everything in. It’s one of those things that looks pretty on the table, but it still really homey and comforting. This is a savory version with caramelized onions, potatoes, and gruyere cheese.
You start out by making your crust (or you could buy one to save time), and rolling it out into a 13 inch round. Place it on a baking sheet and let chill in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Cook your onions in a little olive oil with some salt, pepper, and a chopped fresh herb of your choice (I used rosemary), just until they’re starting to turn golden. I used my handy mandoline to slice my potatoes while the onions were cooking. Once the onions are cooked to your liking, set them aside to cool for a minute. Once the onions have cooled down toss them with the potatoes and about 4-5 oz coarsely grated Gruyere cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Then you pull out your chilled tart dough and mound this all up in the center leaving about a 1 1/2 in border around the edge. Pull the edges up around the filling and pinch together and gaps or tears. Brush the edges of the crust with a beaten egg and bake at 400° for 45-50 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Very simple to make, but again, very hearty and homey. The potatoes get all crispy around the edges and soft on the inside and the onions caramelize, adding just the right amount of oniony-sweetness to everything. The rosemary was excellent here, but you could just thyme instead, if you prefer. I really enjoyed the gruyere cheese here, since the smokiness of it sort of balanced out the sweetness of the onions, and it just sort of fit, if you know what I mean. I had mine with sour cream, but creme fraiche would be even better as a garnish.
Potato, Onion, and Gruyere Galette:
The recipe is adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet, which is an excellent book…one of my favorites actually. There are some truly wonderful recipes inside, and the instructional parts and little tips strewn throughout make it a great book to learn the basics from.
- 1 single crust pie or tart dough, rolled out into a 13 inch round
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
- 1/4 tsp plus 1 pinch salt (I prefer Kosher salt, or coarse sea salt here)
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb red potatoes, washed (unpeeled), and sliced to 1/4 in thick
- 4 oz Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Creme Fraiche for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400° and position rack in lower third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roll out your pie crust dough into a 13 in round, place on baking sheet, and chill until ready to use.
- Heat the 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just beginning to turn golden, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in thyme or rosemary, 1/4 tsp salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Blend well, then transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
- Combine the cooled onion mixture, cheese, and potatoes in the large bowl. Mix it all up a bit and adjust seasoning as you see fit.
- Mound the filling in the center of the chilled tart shell, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border around the edges. Fold the edges up around the filling, pinching together any gaps, to make a circular enclosure leaving the center open. Drizzle the filling with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, if desired. Lightly brush the dough with beaten egg.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the potatoes are soft when pricked with a fork. When done, let cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes before serving. Use the bottom a tart pan to lift the galette or just slide a plate underneath it (I found my galette to be pretty stable, but be careful!)
- Slice with a chef’s knife and serve with dollops of creme fraiche.