Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chard Galette

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One of my biggest cooking challenges is how to make vegetables the star of any meal and not just a collection of bit part players. Over the years, I've found that vegetables should be paired with grains, pasta, or just some sort of carb in order to be substantial enough to be the main course instead of a side dish. For this chard galette, I took essentially two side dishes -- mashed potatoes and sauteed chard -- and made a main course by adding a pie crust. This rustic galette is actually really easy to make and quite delicious. The turnip mashed potatoes is creamy yet light and paired extremely well with the earthy chard.

For this chard galette, you will need:
  • 1 portion of whole wheat tart crust with olive oil, recipe below
  • 2 bunches chard (I used a mixture of Swiss, rainbow and yellow. Other hearty greens like kale and collard greens can also work here), chopped
  • 5 small turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 Russet potato, peeled and medium diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter or butter substitute (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • salt to taste
For the whole wheat tart crust with olive oil (adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), you'll need:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 teaspoon active yeast
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Begin by mixing warm water together with sugar and active yeast in a large bowl. Set aside and allow the yeast to foam, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt. Mix together and knead lightly for 5 minutes. Cover with damp paper towels and allow to proof for 45 minutes. Dough should double in size. Punch down the dough and knead a few times. Cover again and allow to proof for another 30 minutes.

In the meantime, place potato and turnips into a large microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 8 minutes. Test pieces by piercing with a fork. If fork inserts easily, they are done. If not, microwave on high for 2 more minutes and repeat until done. Mash together. You can use either a masher, a ricer or a food mill. Stir in butter or butter substitute. Season with salt and set aside.

In a large heavy pot, heat up olive oil. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chard, season with salt and stir. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chard should turn dark green and become soft. Strain and roughly chop. Squeeze out any residual liquid. Mix together with toasted pine nuts and red wine vinegar.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Punch down the dough and roll out to a 12-inch round piece. Place rolled out dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread mashed turnips and potato in the middle, leaving about a 2 to 3-inch edge all the way around. Top with chard mixture. Pull the edge up and fold into wide pleats. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

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