Wednesday, 16 January 2013 | 34 comments

A galette of winter greens

i. It is garden-planning season around here. We went a little crazy poring over seed catalogues and, in the recent thaw we had, are doing some initial digging around to make new beds. This year, I will have a bed just for my lettuces and leafy greens, which are some of my favorite things to grow. This is because they’re easy, except where slugs are involved, and because I get to have that kindergarten-wonder moment almost every day when I go out to the garden or Ben brings in lettuce for a salad. Our friend Connie likes to say that this part of the year is best for gardeners: no drought, no pests, no weeds, no deer. And in your mind, the garden is always beautiful and successful. (I believe the subtext there is, “So enjoy it while you can.”)II. I bought these leeks, kale, and mustards at the store. I am afflicted, this time of year, with a strange malady where I am powerless to resist Anything Green. My gaze drifted as I walked towards the flour. I bought the Green Things. When I got home and unpacked the groceries, I realized that I could not remember the last time I bought leafy green things from the store, instead of from a farm a few miles away (Hi, Kevin! Your kale is better than the supermarket’s.) This struck me as 1) pretty cool and 2) very privileged. Strangest of all, though, was the feeling I had toward the vegetables: they seemed more expendable, less precious.III. I have had a string of misses in the kitchen lately. Do you ever have weeks like this? I cooked a lot, even had a dinner party, none of it was horrible, none of it was great. I needed redemption. This recipe is it.

A galette of winter greens

  1. For the crust:
  2. 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  3. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  4. A pinch of kosher salt
  5. 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  6. 5 or 6 tablespoons cold water
  7. For the filling:
  8. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  9. 2-3 leeks, dark green parts removed, light green and white parts trimmed, halved lengthwise, swished in cold water to remove any grit, and thinly sliced
  10. 6-8 cups greens of your choice, de-stemmed and de-ribbed, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
  11. 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano
  12. 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  13. 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
  14. Salt
  15. Coarse ground black pepper

  1. Make the crust: Combine the flours and salt in a bowl. Cut the cold butter into small cubes. Dredge them in the flour mixture so they don’t stick to each other; then, working quickly with your fingers, flatten and break up the cubes of butter between the pads of your thumb and index finger. You want big flakes of butter to be distributed throughout the dry mixture.
  2. Add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing as you go, until the dough just barely holds together. It should be very crumbly. Gather the shaggy dough together, flatten it into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
  3. In a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute them, softly, until they become tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. If they begin to brown, turn down the heat.
  4. Begin to add the chopped greens in batches, waiting for them to wilt and cook down before adding more. When you have added the last bit of greens, continue to cook over medium low-heat, for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture is very tender and melting together. Remove the pan from the heat source and stir in the parmesan cheese, parsley, and cream, if using. Taste for salt and season if necessary, but your Parmigiano may be salty enough. Season with black pepper to taste.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, on a well-floured surface, roll it out into a large circle about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the circle of dough carefully to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Pile the filling into the middle of the circle, and then spread it over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border or dough. Fold the edges of the dough in over the filling, holding the filling in.
  8. Bake the galette for 20-30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden and the filling bubbling and lightly browned on top.
  9. Good enjoyed hot or at room temperature.

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§ 34 responses to A galette of winter greens

  • I’ve never had a galette quite like this before, it sounds wonderful! I feel the same way about gravtitating toward greens in the winter. Thanks for the recipe!

  • I love the idea of this savoury galette; I always feel that those leafy greens so so life affirming, especially in the middle of winter.

  • jacquie

    Supermarket produce does seem more expendable,ha,never put that into words.Gardening is heartbreaking for me the “waste’,you just put a little of you in them all!I am even terrible at thinning out at the start,my sister comes over and rips half it out while i stand there,she is giggling at me the whole time.It is a love hate relationship.

  • jacquie

    Love hate with my sister and the garden,haha

  • this is perfect!

  • I can completely relate about the feeling when realizing I haven’t purchased greens from the store (I do really miss my CSA come January). I’ve made a galette similar to this but I’ve need to go back and revisit it so I can add leeks and a few other greens (I did mine all Kale!)

  • A pie full of savory winter greens sounds pretty amazing right about now. :) I even have a pie crust already in the freezer!

  • Oh, how I love galettes. They are, true, an excellent road to kitchen redemption, and this one is gorgeous. And yes, the Green Things: they beckon to me every time…

  • this is just lovely. a beautiful way to enjoy winter greens!

  • I love a galette and this savory one looks so good! Your words about the garden are true – this time of year is all good dreams and possibility. Greens grow so quickly, and I do love gathering spicy arugula and cute little heads of romaine lettuce at the beginning of the year. Here in Colorado, it’s tempting to get started gardening early, but wise to wait since the majority of our snow comes in April and May!

  • I think you and I are currently on the same wavelength! I’m planning this years garden (so far it’s beautiful! ; ) and I was literally just thinking about how long it had been since I had to buy kale at the store! Like you, I’m going to be going a little crazy in the greens department and I’m devoting a whole bed to kale.

  • I can’t imagine reveling in the lack of deer as a gardening threat this time of year, but hey. I get you. It’s good to drink it in. We just bought a majority of our seeds and have started plotting. Excited for a little early thaw so that we can get to work. And I know that strange feeling of walking out of the grocery store with something that seems so OTHER to the ethos of the grocery store itself. The approach in the kitchen seems to get marred with ideas in a way.

    Lovely galette too. We still have so much kale poking out of the mud. This dish will be visiting my kitchen soon :)

  • I hope to start a garden one day. We’ve finally got some herbs on our balcony, and they’ve been doing well for a few months now. Glad the string of kitchen messes is over, and your redemption recipe looks delicious! I too crave greens (and soup!) this time of year.

  • Connie

    My daughter gave me gardening books for Christmas so my mental garden is especially glorious! (Hmm, wonder if I can espalier apricot trees…).
    Son gave me Nigel Slater’s Tender which is the best vegetable cook book I’ve used/read. Nigel has created a beautiful garden in the back of his London townhouse. Most inspiring.

    May our gardens grow well in real life too!


  • Kate

    Just made this last night and ate the leftovers tonight. Thanks Sarah, this was a fantastic recipe.

  • meg

    The really wonderful thing about gardening and about buying vegetables from other people who garden, is that food becomes precious. You understand the labor and sweat and backaches and disappointments that are involved in gardening and growing living things. It’s really an exercise in optimism. It may be completely pschosomatic, but I think this relationship with plants makes food taste better. Great post.

  • I recently started making galettes and the thought of filling them with delicious leafy greens is near profound. A novel idea to share, thank you.

  • I love savory galettes! One of my favorites I ever had was with chanterelle mushrooms and blue cheese. It was pretty amazing, I have to say. This one looks equally delicious! Leeks are one of my favorite things to cook with too.

    Thanks for the great inspiration!

  • Thank you for sharing this recipe, Sarah! I made it this weekend and will definitely add it to my winter rotation. The flavors were so much richer and sweeter than I expected.

    Now that I’m not afraid of making galettes, what else should I put in one?

    • So glad you liked it, Maggie. I agree about that richness. For other fillings, it’ll serve you well to remember that for this recipe, we coaxed out all that sweetness and velvetiness with a slow sweat/saute. So, consider that with other fillings: caramelized onions and cubed winter squash, maybe; collards cooked down with chicken broth and finished with pancetta or bacon; or even roasted carrots and fennel with parmigiano. Definitely cook the veggies before putting them into the crust. Let me know if any experiments work out! Cheers—S

  • Did you add mustard greens?

  • Allison

    I made this today and while I loved the filling, I struggled with the crust! I’ve always been terrible at making crust from scratch. I was unable to get it to a smooth consistency and when I rolled it out, it kept pulling away from itself. I wound up pressing the dough into a tart pan and topping it with the filling. It was very tasty, but any more tips on making the crust so I can replicate the galette?

    • Hi Allison. That’s a bummer, especially considering I really like this crust. I have really detailed pie crust instructions, as well as some photos, on this post, which are applicable to the galette crust as well. Hope that helps! If not, shoot me an email. —S

  • Allison Smith

    I made this tonight and it was delicious I made the pastry with unbleached spelt flour which made the pastry crumbly but still delicious, I will be making it again (and such a great way to use kale and silverbeet).
    I was ”enlightened’ of your blog from Jude Blereau and I just love it and have subscribed to receive your updates and have ‘liked’ you on Facebook!
    Please keep up the good work, you have another fan from Down Under (Australia)

  • I just made your Galette of Winter Greens for the second time. When the winter greens get a bit out of control in my San Diego garden, I harvest a mountain of them. Today it was two kinds of kale, Swiss chard, Asian greens mix, radish greens and arugula. Again, it was fabulous and feels virtuous!

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