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In the Kitchen With Ricky: Summer tomato galette showcases fresh backyard ingredient

UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 3, 2021

By Ricky Webster For The Spokesman-Review

Our growing season might be a bit short here in the Inland Northwest, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate one of summer’s simplest pleasures: the backyard tomato. My vines are bursting with a variety of sweet heirlooms, and I wanted to find a way to showcase these gems with an easy, yet show-stopping recipe.

I encourage you to use the freshest, most homegrown tomato you can find, but tomatoes are also ready up at Green Bluff or from farmers markets throughout the area. The galette is Italian in origin and simply a freeform rustic tart that requires nothing more than a few simple ingredients minimally worked, filled and baked directly on a sheet pan.

A galette can be eaten immediately and doesn’t require the patience and skill like a classic pie or tart. Serve this galette with a fresh side salad for a simple and easy meal or as a side dish accompanied by something off the grill.

Feel free to use other fresh and seasonal produce in place of tomatoes such as zucchini, summer squash, peas, peppers, par cooked broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, fully cooked winter squash or beets.

Summer Tomato Galette

Savory galette crust:

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups all-purpose flour

⅓ cup ice water

Place the cubed butter into the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until hard.

Combine the flour and salt.

Using a food processor, combine the cold butter and flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal with a few larger pea-sized butter chunks throughout. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a mixing bowl and pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. The trick to this dough is to mix it cold and quick.

Add in the ice water and pulse about 12 times, or combine with your hands just until the mixture comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and lightly roll out to a ½-inch-thick circle.

Wrap with parchment or in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight. You can also freeze this dough for as long as one month.

Summer tomato galette:

¼ large yellow or sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

2 large backyard heirloom or best-quality tomatoes you can find

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Fresh herbs, chopped or torn (optional)

Adjust an oven rack to be placed in the lower center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.

Slice the tomatoes about ¼-inch thick and lay out on a paper towel-lined dish cloth. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and let it sit for 15 minutes (this helps to remove excess moisture so that the crust doesn’t get soggy).

While the tomatoes are draining, remove the cold dough disk from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes while you slice the onion and make the egg wash.

Thinly slice the onion and set aside.

To make the egg wash, crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk up with milk. Whisk well until combined and set it aside.

Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment cut to fit a ½ sheet pan or a standard home oven baking pan/cookie sheet. Your goal is a 12-inch-diameter circle of pastry.

Lift by the edges of the parchment and place the dough on a sheet pan.

Brush the bottom of the pastry with 1 tablespoon olive oil and scatter sliced onions on top, leaving about 2 inches of the edge uncovered.

Sprinkle the onions with the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt.

Lay the sliced tomatoes, slightly overlapping in a circular pattern atop the onions to cover.

Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with black pepper.

Gently fold up the exposed pastry edge to lay atop the tomatoes, pleating to hold in place. Work circular until the edges are all sealed up.

Brush the edges liberally with egg wash, making sure to get under the folds and on the bottom edge.

Sprinkle the folded edge with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are a deep golden and the tomatoes have a little color.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Sprinkle with herbs, then slice and serve.

This recipe would also be delicious with the addition of cheese. If using a soft cheese such as ricotta, mascarpone or cream cheese, spread ⅓ cup of it atop an olive oil-brushed pastry bottom and then lay the onion on top. If using a grated or crumbly cheese, sprinkle it atop the onion layer and then add tomatoes.

Yield: 4-8 servings

Ricky Webster can be reached at ricky@rindandwheat.com. Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.

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