Perks of the job like this are something I'll definitely miss. Not many work places give you access to delicious ingredients you might otherwise find difficult to get hold of.
Before now I've had fantastic crab, fish and wines (not to mention non edible treats such as serving dishes and glam light fittings) but the second I saw the heritage tomatoes make an appearance on the menu I knew I'd have to get myself a kilo.
I love how irregular and multi coloured they are, pretty and unusual and entirely unlike anything you could buy in our supermarkets. But it aint all about good looks, they taste fantastic too.
I was supposed to make this galette over the weekend, but had a bit of an encounter with a bee sting in my mouth, resulting in anaphylaxis and stint on a drip in QMC (it's all high drama with me y'know) so tonight is the first time I've had chance.
The amazing yellow globe courgettes came from my good friend Zoe, she (well, her dad) grew them and kindly passed them on to me. I've kept one to stuff it with tasty things, but the creamy yellow discs of the other two I decided would complement the sun dried tomatoes and salty taleggio cheese beautifully.
A galette seems to have a number of definitions. Sometimes made with a bread-like dough, sometimes with a pastry, the contents can be filling or savoury but the the wonderful thing about it is its rusticity. No pie dish? No problem - simply pile in the fillings and crimp up the edges. Et voila.
In fact, it's so easy you'd be able to whip one up as an impressive dinner party starter no problem. And the filling ideas are endless, expect a crab and pumpkin related combination soon...
750g heritage tomatoes
100g finely grated pecorino cheese
2 globe courgettes, sliced in rounds around 4mm thick
1 pack of shop bought shortcrust pastry - taken out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you need it
350g taleggio cheese, diced or in slices
A handful fresh marjoram
500mls extra virgin olive oil
Full fat milk for brushing the pastry with
Sea salt and black pepper
A little plain flour for dusting
Start with making the sundried tomatoes
- Cut the tomatoes up into a mixture of quarters lenghth ways and simple slices - it all depends on the haul you end up with as to what would look best - it's some variety you're after
- Preheat the oven to 100 degrees and lay the tomatoes onto a non stick baking sheet and bake for 2 hours
- Remove and place them into a bowl, add a generous scrunch of salt and grind of pepper, and then drizzle them in extra virgin olive oil - enough to cover them. Set aside (they'll keep several days under the oil if you want to make them in advance)
Now onto the galette
- Preheat your oven to 190 degrees, brush a baking sheet with olive oil and lay the sliced courgettes onto it side by side (not overlapping) you may need to do this over a few sheets to fit them all on
- Brush the tops of all the courgettes now and give a grind of black pepper (no salt as the cheese is salty enough)
- Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes or until they've started turning golden at the edges - you don't
- Just before they're ready to take out of the oven, roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface until its around 5mm thick - don't worry about the edges being ragged, you'll be folding them in anyway
- Take the courgettes from the oven and move them with a fish slice to a plate, then re oil the base of the baking sheet and drape the pastry onto it
- Lay the taleggio chunks or slices straight onto the pastry (leaving nearly an inch border at the sides), then top with layers of the courgettes until it's completely covered, followed by the heritage tomatoes (I chose a pattern but it really doesn't matter)
- Bring the edges in to form a crust, and then brush the pastry with milk
- Bake for 30 minutes before removing and sprinkling on the grated pecorino, then put it back into the oven for 15 minutes
- Once ready, remove from the oven, drizzle with some of the oil that the tomatoes were covered in and give a sprinkling of the marjoram and a little scrunch of salt
- Eat (chablis went beautifully but another rounded or crisp white would be great also)