Combining two strong flavors can generate, with enough cooking time and moderation of cheese, a sublime comfort food dish. From 2010, this dish is a winter staple for us. It’s a lovely appetizer or, in more generous slices, a full meal. Pair with a salad dosed with vinaigrette and a bottle of white. Maybe even sparkling white.

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 6

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

Preparation:

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

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/3.5 for 1/30th second at ISO-160