Friday, August 22, 2014

Tomato Galette for One

I had a pretty big moment this week. A taste of my very first homegrown tomato. It felt like forever since I planted that little seed but finally, after all that waiting and babying it was time! After deciding that it was ripe enough to finally pick, I bit into it, still warm from the sun and man did it taste good! I mean, to be honest it wasn't the best looking tomato, kind of mutated and a bit cracked but... I grew it! That fact alone made it taste way better than any other tomato I've ever had before. I feel a bit like a proud mum. I also feel like I now need to buy a farm, move to the country and eat only the things I grow with my own two hands! 
Yeah, I'll keep dreaming here in my little Toronto apartment while the street cars rumble on by. I'll stick to little balcony gardens for now. 

So, in honour of my tasty, ugly tomato I've made a very simple galette, just for me.  Using up the half  of my tomato that I didn't eat right away and a few other things I had kicking around the fridge, this little guy came together very easily. I'm happy with this because there aren't a lot of recipes that work for just one and I'm all too often only cooking for myself. Which usually results in leftovers, which are cool but not always as exciting the next day. So after a bit of research I found out that making crust is really very simple and if you follow the ratio of 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat and 1 part liquid you'll be set to make however big or small a crust you need. However, the important thing to remember when making a pie crust like this is to keep you ingredients as cold as possible throughout the entire process. This helps to ensure a flaky crust that isn't too dense or too chewy.  

Tomato Galette with Goat Cheese, Pancetta, and Onion

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup chilled butter, cubed
5-6 tbsp ice water 
Pinch of salt

1/2 large tomato, sliced
2 tbsp goat cheese
a bit of pancetta, chopped
a few slices of white or red onion
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar 

Preheat your oven to 425 F
For the crust, in a small mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and cold butter. With your hands coat the butter with the flour and continue to rub the butter into the flour between your hands, creating smaller and smaller chunks. Continue until the chunks look roughly the size of peas. I recommend chilling the dough for a few minutes here, especially if you're working in a hot kitchen. You want the butter in the dough to remain fairly cold so that it won't melt when you put it into your hot oven. Instead, you want to create a bit of steam which will create a beautifully flakey crust. 
After chilling the dough for a few minutes, create a little well in the middle of your mixture and start adding your ice water. Add it by the tablespoon to ensure your don't add too much water. Combine the mixture as you do this and stop working when the dough starts to come together. You don't want it to be sticky so just enough water until you can form a ball but it's not sticking to your hand. Again, chill that dough.
After chilling for a few minutes until it feels cool to the touch but isn't so stiff you can't roll it out. Turn your dough onto a lightly floured surface. With a floured rolling pin gently roll it out into roughly a roundish shape, about a 1/4 inch thick or so.
In the centre of your dough, crumble the goat cheese and place your slices of tomato on top. Top this with a bit of sliced onion and a handful of chopped pancetta. 
Fold the edges of the dough onto of your filling and drizzle with olive oil and a touch of balsamic. 
Place your galette on a parchment lined baking tray and pop in your preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is golden. 
You can top this with a bit of freshly grated parmesan. Some fresh herbs like basil or thyme would be nice too. 
Grab a glass of wine and enjoy! 

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