Tomato Galette – A Last Taste of Summer…
At the beginning of autumn, garden vegetables are ripe and bursting with flavour. Lettuce, peppers, fennel, green beans, zucchini, pumpkin, squash and particularly tomatoes of all varieties. Specifically sweet cocktail, cherry and tomatoes on the vine are available at farmer's markets until almost the end of October. You can eat them raw, cooked or braised and they can be used for pasta, salads, stew or as the base of a sauce.
The tomatoes are still sweet and abundant in these parts right now; the further autumn moves along, the narrower the variety on offer. The ones available through the cold season might have a beautiful, red colour but not much taste to offer - those are tomatoes raised in glass houses in less than ideal conditions and then mostly transported and stored at the wrong temperature. While sitting in cold storage and refrigerators, tomatoes lose most of their flavour. It pays to buy these heavenly fruits and pickle or preserve them ahead of the winter. They not only contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E and niacin but also phytochemicals like biotin, folic acid, thiamine, pantothenic acid and valuable fruit acids. The skin of a tomato contains a lot of active substances called flavonoids. They have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. The bright red colour of a tomato stems from carotenoid lycopene, an antioxidant which strengthens the immune system and lowers the risk of cancer.
My galette prominently features these tangy sweet fruits of paradise. The classic galette from Brittany is like a buckwheat crêpe. If you make your dough a little thicker and top it with more produce, you'll get a satisfyingly crispy variety that's like a delicious full meal to boot. You can eat galettes warm as well as cold - ideal for a picnic on a warm autumn day. Maria and I packed the galette in its cold state and made our way to the Wienerwald for an al fresco lunch.
Food photos (c) Julia Stix for MAXIMA Gourmet Extra, issue August 2016
Autumn photos by (c) Maria Ritsch, Wienerwald, October 2016
Ingredients for the dough:
- 300g flour
- 200g butter
- 2 egg yolks
Ingredients for the filling:
- 2 bunches basil
- 5 TBSP olive oil
- 800g cherry tomatoes (all colours)
- 30g pine nuts
- 120g goat's cream cheese
- 4 sprigs thyme
- Work the flour, butter, egg yolks and salt into a smooth dough. If your dough is too crumbly, just add 1-2 teaspoons cold water. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, roughly chop the basil and puree in a tall container with the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Halve the tomatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) or 220°C (upper/lower). Remove the dough from the fridge, split it in two and roll out both halves with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until you have two flat spheres. Brush both lightly with the basil sauce, leaving a 2-3cm wide dry edge. Spread the tomatoes and pine nuts on top and season with salt and pepper. Top with the goat's cheese and the thyme. Fold the 2-3cm edges inwards and bake around 20-25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven, cut into pieces, arrange on plates and serve.